Friday, October 31, 2014

Last Garden Update For The Year....

Wow!  It's the end of October and I never expected to still be posting about the garden.  However, the weather is changing and snow is predicted for the weekend.  So, it's time to clean-up.  I came home yesterday to my husband doing just that and he had found all kinds of goodies.  Here's the list:

1.  tomatillos - 7+ lbs
2.  tomatoes - 4 lbs
3   peppers, mixed hot varieties - just under a pound
4.  beets - didn't weigh but there was a bucket full
5.  beet greens
6.  squash - 2 varieties, didn't weigh
7.  green beans - about 1 1/2 lbs
8.  spinach - 2 or 3 lbs
9.  romaine - about 1 lb
10.  broccoli - 2 or 3 lbs

What a list!  That isn't all that is still out there either.  The broccoli was left to see what would happen with the coming weather because it might still be productive and the chard was left.  I will some chard this afternoon just to make sure I have some for the coming week.

So, the garden is mostly cleaned up now.  The spinach bed was picked and then covered for spring spinach.  The garlic is growing.  It is always sad to say good bye to the garden.  However, it does mean that there will be more time for sewing and I do have lots of sewing plans.

Happy Gardening (or is that sewing)!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Fun Little Weekend....

This past weekend we had a little fun here:

We were in the Santa Fe area and it was beautiful.  The weather was cool in the mornings and perfect during the day.  I'm not sure that better weather is possible at this time of year.  We were there for 3 wonderful days.   There was one place that I would have loved to have gone to daily but I did manage to get there twice:

The Kakawa Chocolate House...oh, yes, if you're visiting Santa Fe and you're a chocolate lover this s the place to go.  I tried several items and they were all good.  We tried several versions of the hot chocolate (elixirs), the brownies (awesome), the macaroons, and the truffles.  How could I not bring a couple of the elixir mixes home?  I hope they are as good at home.

There were these beautiful yellow trees sprinkled around the landscape.  I think these are Aspens but I'm not sure.  Notice how beautiful the sky is.

This is the Rio Grande. I wasn't expecting the big deep valley.

This is a view at Bandelier National Monument.  This little valley was so peaceful and beautiful.  We spent 3 to 4 hours hiking and looking at the sights.

Of course, we also took the time to try some of the New Mexico cuisine.  My son wouldn't try any of it.   I ate a lot of chiles over three days.   I wish that I could have gotten into more of the local food.  I guess I can do some research and see if I can find some of the local recipes.

This is a place that I really would like to visit again.  I hope that it happens.

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gardening...Fall Update

I really meant to have a September gardening update but I misplaced my little notebook where I was writing everything down.  September was a good gardening month with lots of tomatillos, tomatoes, peppers, various types of greens (lettuce, spinach, chard), and broccoli.

October has been a good month also.  The garden is slowly getting cleaned up but we're still getting tomatillos, tomatoes, various types of greens, yellow squash, broccoli, butternut squash, and green beans.  It's all been good.   I am very thankful that my garden is so productive.  I know I haven't talked much about the herbs but they are still going strong too. The herb garden consists of Greek oregano, chives, thyme, rosemary (which has been re-potted and brought inside), cilantro, and sage.  The basil has been removed and is hanging to dry.

I love experimenting with the garden.  We did replant spinach this fall for spring.  This was an excellent experiment from last year which was a pleasant surprise last March to find the spinach growing like crazy.  

I suppose the first weekend in November we should hop to it and really get the garden cleaned up.  I will be sad to see my greens gone.  I really haven't taken advantage of the chard this year.  I need more recipes.  If you have some good ones, I would love to hear about it.

How does your garden?

Happy Stitching! (or gardening)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Impromptu Project....

You know how sometimes you want to work on an instant gratification project, something that you know will be fairly quick.  Well, I found the perfect project at Simplicity and it was a freebie! The project was Easy PJ Pants (this is a link).  The hardest part of this pattern was printing it out and taping it together.  Here's the finished product:

Yeah, not sure a good picture but it's really hard to a picture of pants laying on the floor.  You can see the cute penguins though.  My son is such a good sport for agreeing to this stash find.  I'm sure that he picked out this fabric when he was much younger.

Back to the pattern.  Overall, I would say this is a great pattern. There is two pattern pieces after you tape together the 25 sheets of paper - the pant and the drawstring.

1.  I changed the 1/2" elastic to 1" elastic.  Again, using elastic from the stash and I didn't want to cut it in half.

Yep, that was the only thing I changed.  My son is 6'3" and these were perfect for him.  So be sure to adjust the length if you're a lot shorter.  He wears a 36 inseam in jeans.

Yes, I will make another pair or two.  There is a change I will make on the next pair.  The buttonholes for the drawstring will be vertical instead of horizontal if I decide to do the drawstring.  I will add a little piece of fabric on the back to stabilize it.  Really, the pant has elastic and the drawstring isn't really necessary.

The best part about this project as I was able to remove about 3 yards of stashed fabric with this one project.  There are some big enough pieces left that I can make some little items and I may but that will be another day.

Ok, back to the mantel scarf.  It must be done soon.

Happy Stitching!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

New Patterns for the Stash....

Oh, yeah, I did purchased additional patterns for the stash.  I really had no intentions of purchasing these patterns but decided to at the last moment I should.  Here's the patterns that have been added:

I love this top.  This is one that I will add to the sewing list and hope that I have time to make it up.

This pant pattern is what changed my mind about doing the ordering the pre-sale of the Fall patterns.  It's not the actually picture that did if for me but the description that Peggy gave of the pattern.  She described it as the woven version of the yoga pant. So, now I must give it a try.

This top has interesting lines and I might make it if I'm looking for something different to make up.

This jacket might get made sometime in the future.  It isn't high on the list not because it isn't a nice looking jacket but because I rarely make jackets.  Maybe that is something I need to correct in the future.  Jackets can be a big bang for your buck.

Why did I purchase all 4 patterns?  Well, the pre-sale special is generally less expensive that purchasing two patterns.  Hopefully, I will make at least the first two.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Holiday Vogue Collection...

is here.  I love looking at the new patterns when they come out.  I don't always plan on buying anything but sometimes they end up on my pattern stash anyway.  Here are the patterns I found interesting:

I really like the bodice on this Belleville Sassoon pattern.  It is V1423.

I think the shoulders on this dress are wonderfully.  This is almost a dress I would wear.  It is a little on the short side for me.  I know that it is easy enough to add length.  It is V1424 by Rebecca Taylor.

This lined dress has very interesting seaming with an exposed zipper.  Love it but it is a little on the short side for me. This is V1421 by DKNY.

Another dress with interesting seaming.  This lined dress is V1420 by Anne Klein.

Cute top pattern with 3 variations.  It could be my lux sweatshirt.  This one could end up in my pattern stash.  It is V9055.

I like that the interesting seaming is continuing in the patterns.  I know that it makes them a little harder to fit/make.

What are you favorites in the new Vogues?

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A little advancement....

I finally got a little bit of a system going with the paper piecing and the second set didn't take as long to do as the first set:

The second color for the ornaments is black with gold metallic.  I ran out of papers or I would have completed another set.  I don't own a light box so I was unable to trace anymore of the papers to make the pieced block. I will trace the remaining pieces tomorrow.  I need 15 but will most likely do 18 so that I have a couple extra for mistakes.

Since I finished the above blocks early in the evening and still wanted to work on sewing items, I decided to start tracing this jacket:

I'm working on View 1.  Here's the fabric that I want to make this up in:

I plan on using a satin for the lining.  I looked high and low for a flannel backed satin but couldn't find it.  I really wanted a little bit warmer coat but it should be ok til really cold weather hits.  This will be my first coat.  I may change the way it is put together and have a real lining instead of the underlining the instructions have you do.  Usually, I like to follow the directions the first time I make something and then make changes, it I make it again. If I can figure out how to handle the facing, I may do the lining.

Now, I  have three active projects going in the sewing room. That doesn't include the knitting projects.  So much to do, so little time.  Do you ever feel that way?

Happy Sewing!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Christmas Mantel Scarf is Started...

Oh, I think I should have started this much earlier.  Hopefully, I will be able to get in sewing time daily.  Here's a picture of the mantel scarf pattern from Martindale:

Super cute, don't you think?  See the piecing in the ornament?  Well, that is paper piecing and this is the first time I have attempted paper piecing.  I kinda followed the information in this paper piecing video from Kimberbell.  I thought it was much more difficult than I was expecting.  Here are the results of about 2 hours of work:

Oh yeah, 3 wee little pieced blocks which is enough for 1 ornament.  I put the bobbin in there so you get the idea of the size.  Now, I will say that there was plenty of interruptions mostly involving lighting.  We accidentally bumped the chandelier and blew the circuit.  When I turned the circuit back on, we decided that there was an issue with the chandelier.  Unfortunately, that was the only light in the room.  So, I was running around looking for lighting and ended up with two lamps that we could live.  When DH returned home he brought in additional lighting.  After the sewing session and further examination of the chandelier (a couple of scary light shows), it was determined that one of the candles had almost melted and we were lucky a fire hadn't started.  Fortunately, I find a new chandelier for replacement.

Here are the fabrics for the mantel scarf:

 The red flannel came from my store and the metallics and batiks came from ChristmasJul on Etsy.  Beautiful fabric and excellent service.  Be sure to check out this store if you're looking for Christmas fabrics.

Hope to get the piecing done this week.  Wish me luck.

Happy Sewing!

Friday, October 3, 2014

My First Machine Quilted Quilt.....

Yes, the quilt is finally finished.  I'm happy with the way it turned out.  I hope the recipient likes it.  Here's the finished product:

Yep, that's me holding it up and gives you an idea of the size.  Here's another pic laid out on the floor:

The backing is the same as the green blocks.

This was the first chevron block I have ever done.  I liked the size of the block.  The pattern was an extra leaflet with a quilt magazine I purchased last summer.  It pattern didn't provide a lot of information so I have to assume it wasn't meant for a beginner quilter.   As for the quilting, I used the walking foot on my machine to follow the chevrons.  In the quilt blocks, I outlined the block.  Nothing fancy on the first try. However, my machine is capable of doing much more.  I just need to experiment.

I kinda like having an empty living room.  Generally, the floor in this room is covered with a rug which makes you forget how pretty they are.  Otherwise, I would not have been able to lay out the quilt like I did. New furniture will be arriving later this week.  I hope I like the new rug but I have reservations.  I'm not sure that the designer I worked with had enough experience in designing.  I tossed the first design because she did not use the colors I gave her to work with along with the fact that the first design had all the furniture on one wall.

On to the next sewing project.   Saturday will be first monthly sewing date with my friend since April. We will be working on Christmas mantel covers.  Here's a pic of the one I will be attempting:

This is an epattern from Martingale.  My mantel is just a little bit larger than the pattern so I am having to modify it slightly.  This will include a new technique for me - paper piecing.  Wish me luck!

Do you ever feel like you have so many sewing ideas and not enough time to do them all?   I have so many items that I want to make but I'm already running out of time for Christmas items.

Happy Sewing!