Sunday, February 27, 2011

Garden Dreaming on a Snowy Day

Just a cold, snowy day here.  That wet kind of snow that goes from snow to rain to snow and the dampness just creeps into your bones.  What better to do than to visit with a sister and dream over garden catalogs and books.  Henry Fields and Gardens Alive is what we had today.  Better Homes & Gardens Complete Guide to Gardening is a great resource!  It tells you things the seed catalog doesn't (I wanted to know how far apart to plant raspberry bushes). My sister loves Baker's Dozen and has several of these books.  And - a new favorite of mine - her copy of Birdscaping Your Garden.  A fascinating read about what to plant to attract birds.  Love this book!  And will be taking some of the suggested plants into consideration this spring.

The dogs played on the floor (Sadie is the Labrador Retriever, Sophie is the Miniature Australian Shepherd.  Despite the awful weather we still brought them out for a walk.

My sister made an amazing Sky High Apple Pie.  I knit on my socks but didn't take a photo.  When they are finished I will post about them.

Last night my truck hit 70,000 miles.  I have had it for almost 6 years now and bought it used.  Still looks and runs like new!  Got to love working from home and NOT having a commute!  I really like it - a Chevy Silverado 4X4 and has never given me a bit of trouble other than normal maintenance issues.  I pay attention to when the oil needs to be changed.  And - I did put 4 new tires on this month so I should be good for another 65,000 miles!  The thing that gets me - everytime I bring it in for service the dealership trys to sell me a NEW truck. Ummm, no thanks - mine is practically new!  Well - just take one for a test drive, they urge me.  No!  That just drives me nuts!

But speaking of driving around -has anyone ever seen one of these road signs?  I have NO IDEA what it means!  Maybe I should just print this out and bring it into the police station and ask them - do you think that they will know?

My niece slept over this week.  She has a little dog (a Chihuahua) named Hope who goes wherever she does.  So when bags were started to get packed up and placed near the door - Hope jumped right into a bag (she already has her sweater on to go outside).  She is such a character!

We got these flowers over 2 weeks ago for a birthday celebration.  They are in a cold bay window and still look fresh and vibrant.

And here is a parting shot of beautiful Cape Cod in the winter.  

Monday, February 14, 2011

Design Wall Monday on Valentine's Day

I don't have a whole lot of time for sewing right now, but I did get accomplished this week what I wanted to - I got all the sashings on my quilt.  I need a name for this quilt!  Any suggestions???
I have fabric for the border which is a medium/large orange/brown floral - so now I am thinking I should get a small bit of matching orange-y fabric for a narrow inner border - maybe 1.5".  My outer borders are almost always cut 6.5" because that is how wide my ruler is.  Fine science, I know!  
Just 2 "craft nights" at my sister's and look how much I am getting done!  Our little group is growing a bit and others are joining in the fun as they hear about it.  We can't meet this Wednesday night, but are trying to figure out our schedules to another night this week so we all can continue on with our projects in the company of each other.
And today is Valentine's Day.  The media sure has hyped up this day.  Seems like the presents get more and more expensive.  We don't really do presents in our family - we like to have a special meal at home though and tonight I will cook something up extra special.  We have something to really celebrate this week...
Here is a photo of a greatest present ever - my sister is up and walking!!!  She has a long ways to go, but this is huge!  We are all so excited.
I still have one sister in the hospital and will go up to see her today.
I hope you all have a good day and that you and your loved ones are enjoying good health.  Forget about all that advertising and make it a special day for yourself and your family!  Have a Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 07, 2011

An old-fashioned feeling quilt

I started this quilt in Austria and then had to bring it back with me, unfinished.  Why?  Because for some reason I miscalculated the yardage I would need and was short - get this - 10  2.5" squares of that light cream fabric and 1 strip 2.5" X 10.5" of the dark brown for a sashing strip.  Lucky me - I still had a bit of that fabric in Canada.  Which I brought back to the USA with me last week from my little trip up there.  This is a well traveled project and it is amazing that I have been able to keep track of it at all!  Tonight I cut out the missing pieces and I have it set aside for Wednesday night sewing night at one of my sister's.  Finally I will be able to sew that last row of blocks onto the top and move onto the borders!  I love this pattern - it is just a block that I like and then I sashed it so no pattern.  I think it has such a nice old-fashioned homey kind of feeling.  Sunny Lanes is also slated to be worked on this Wednesday night.
The other day I was visiting one of my sisters at the hospital she has been at this month.  Three of my sister's have had surgeries this winter so it has been a busy time for me helping them out.  The good news is that everyone is doing fine, it is just that sometimes healing takes a little time.  In the lobby they had this very nice arrangement of flowers.  Pretty!  I love how these colors work together.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Pom-Pom Scarf

I bought a skein of Red Heart's new Pomp-a-doodle yarn on a whim.  The pattern for this scarf was on the inside of the label and 1 night of knitting away - I have a cute scarf to add to my Christmas gift collection.  The way the yarn is constructed, there is enough string to knit 2 stitches and then there is a pom pom that you have to gently tug through the stitch.  It all lines up nicely except the cast on/cast off edge (which doesn't look badly - it just doesn't line up perfectly).

You can buy the yarn at Amazon using this link:  
Buy Pom Pom Yarn Here!

I used 1 skein for this scarf.
This color is called Berries and Cream.  It is so soft, knits up quickly and is fun to make and wear!  If you are looking for a fast present to make, this project fits the bill!

Friday, February 04, 2011

My Sunny Lanes Quilt

The other night one of my sisters & I had a sewing night.  I brought my tote of projects and finally decided that I would work on "Sunny Lanes".  I made these blocks up last year just piecing different width strips together into long rows, cutting each row into 4 squares and then sewing them into blocks.  So now I have the blocks pinned together - ready to sew into rows.  Progress is progress I guess, even if it is slow going.  Now I have to gather up my sewing stuff - my machine is at one sister's house and the cords are here.  But I do think that sometime this week I will get it sewn together and it will then be ready for borders.
This photo shows the colors a little bit better.
My sister made up this top for another sister.  She is an excellent seamstress, has a serger and can make just about anything in snap.  She also made this little red stripped shirt which she gave to me for my son.
She has an entire roll of this fabric.  I am going to make matching shorts next week during our sewing night date and then he will have a nice pair of summer PJ's.
She also was working on a small doll dress.  The ruffler attachment on her sewing machine made quick work of gathering the fabric.  And, I reviewed another quilting project to see where I left off.  Hummm.  Figured that all out and took better notes and repackaged the project so next time I will have a better idea of where I left off.  Oh the math of quilting.
That big pink bag there is my knitting bag.  So I had more projects to  pick from, but since she has such a nice big space to spread out all over - the sewing took center stage.  But the knitting bag made an appearance last night while I was watching a bit of TV.
Anyway, I think Sunny Lanes is a nice, cheery Spring type of quilt.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Sophie's Dog Car Seat

Poor Sophie - so little and slippery leather seats in the car.  She slides all over the place and sometimes will even fall off the seat.  Time for a ride?  She would shake and quiver and not be happy at all.  Well, my sister found this (huge) dog car seat and stuck it in her back seat.  Now Sophie can sit up to see outside the window and has a nice slip-resistant spot to ride - plus it is very cushy.  In this photo it is not strapped in the correct way - this ride was just a quick test drive to see if she would actually stay in the thing.  Well guess what?  She likes it!  After a bit she figured out she wasn't going to be sliding all over the place and she settled down.  She likes looking out the window.  And then she went to sleep.  Success!  I thought it was a funny purchase but it didn't take long to convince me otherwise.  
Sophie's last photo seems to get alot of blog traffic.  My sister has always had full sized Australian Shepherds.  Sophie is a Miniature Australian Shepherd.  She is a real sweetheart.  I have been to dog training with her and she is ever so smart and eager to please.  But don't let her small size fool you - she is happiest with alot of exercise!  She is also never alone - she goes to work with my sister.  You can read about the breed here.

If you are going to buy anything from Amazon anytime soon, I would appreciate you using my links! Thank you!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The Hidden Quilt

I was very lucky to be a houseguest at my friends' house this past trip too.  They had a sweet bedroom all fixed up for me on my arrival.  Oh, and the cooking!  First night I was treated to lobster chowder.  One meal was fiddlehead quiche.  We had meatloaf.  And a special going away dinner - salted pollack simmered in water and served with fried pork rind in broth.  Sounds not so good, but believe me, it is a favorite dinner of mine.  With turnips, boiled potatoes, salad, bread & butter.  Yum.
Do you just love this beautiful quilt on the bed?  Hand quilted too!  I call it "The Hidden Quilt" because this is what the bed was made up like:
While I was there - a visitor came every day to the bird feeder.
Maybe, just maybe I will be motivated to look at some of my quilting projects.  I did stop at Marden's on the way back into the USA and purchased some border fabric for my sampler blocks that I made last winter.  So maybe - we will see...