Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Embroidered Pillow

My Dad embroidered this lovely little picture recently-

It is counted needle point. My parents blocked it and I blocked it again but it still ended up a bit slanted, so I thought it would work best as a pillow and wanted to show how I did it.

I made a backing with a button opening. I did use some interfacing along the button and button hole edges to make it more stable.

I used a piece of white flannel to line the piece of embroidery, and layered the embroidery and backing with wrong sides together,

And stitched around the edge of the embroidery, first with a straight stitch and then a zig-zag stitch to secure the edges. I used a walking foot on my machine to help with the sewing.

I cut out the shape close to the stitching.

While it was at this stage I cut out two pieces of fabric the same shape to make a pillow form for the inside (I stitched around the piece with right sides together, leaving a small opening, turned it right side out, stuffed it and stitched the opening closed using the sewing machine, enclosing the raw edges). I stuffed the pillow form with some leftover wool quilt batting that I pulled apart.

To finish the edges I made a piece of bias binding with the same backing fabric using this method. I used a 12" square piece of fabric to make about 46" of 2+1/2" wide bias binding, that I pressed in half before stitching it around the pillow. I didn't pull on the bias binding while sewing it down (again using a walking foot on the machine). I joined the ends of the bias binding on a 45 degree angle and stitched them together - this takes a bit of pinning and checking before sewing to make sure the binding ends up the right length. I stitched the binding down on the back by hand.

I am really happy with how it turned out. You can't tell that it is not perfectly oval. The cushion is about 8"x10".

All the best!♥︎

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Knitting Sleeves

I don't know why it still surprises me how long it takes to knit sleeves!

Maggie can never resist the cord stoppers
I think I have been knitting these sleeves for three weeks and I am still only half way there (I am blaming it on knitting two at a time - there is lots of repositioning). I am hoping to have them finished by Thursday. They should go faster now that there will be more decreasing happening towards the wrists. I put the body stitches on hold after finishing the first ball of wool, so I could knit the sleeves and then be able to use the rest of the wool for the body - I am hoping for a tunic length sweater.

The hand spun socks have heels now. The plan is for a 3x1 rib for the rest of the leg to use all the beautifully sparkly yarn.

I spun a little sample for my niece. She bought this large roving to make a blanket, but found that it is not practical (it sheds too much), and thought it would work to be spun. It is 100% acrylic. I used a large whorl, and it spun very easily. I spun it a bit thick and thin to create texture since it is a even colour.

Photos from around-

amazing colours
so much energy 
All the best!♥︎

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Too Early!

At the end of last week there was a snow storm that came way to early!

It started out beautifully-

It was in the forecast, and this is what I was expecting for this time of the year - a light dusting, still able to see the grass, but that was just the start.

By the second day we had huge drifts of wet, heavy snow.

My husband did get stuck out on the highway on his way home from work (along with other cars, and a tow truck!). I was so happy that we were able to pick him up with the truck, and also managed to pull his car safely off the road. It has been over 20 years since there was such a bad storm that he had to leave his car stuck in the snow - that time he managed to walk home.
We don't normally have snow so early, usually it doesn't start until November.
We were so lucky that we didn't loose power like so many people did.

Luckily now it is melting-

Although since the yard was already flooded, there is just more water.

The pond is just about to the top-

We are hoping for a nice skating rink this winter. 

We were also lucky that there was just a few broken trees (most of our trees had already lost their leaves which helped).

I did get some sewing done-

Another of my favourite Blackwood Cardigans from Helen's Closet. This time out of a black, french terry fabric. I made a length half way between the two on the pattern.

Photo from around-

A Great Horned Owl in the trees. 
We also saw a few hawks and a Bald Eagle.

All the best!♥︎

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Kitchen Renovation

We have been renovating our home since last March, when we finally sold our other house, so I thought I would show some pictures of the renovations so far. Apart from a new furnace, some plumbing and the countertops, we have done all the work ourselves. We have renovated houses before, but this is the most work that we have done to a house - just about everything is new, luckily now we have two adult sons who did lots of the work too.
It is funny how things work out the way they are supposed to, living in the house for so long before renovating really changed our plans for how we wanted to renovate it (we reconfigured a few spaces).

Here are some before pictures -

The kitchen was very small, we had to overflow into what was the dining room space.

The living room was big enough for our dining room.

The best thing that we did was to remove the wall splitting the two rooms, and going around the stairs to the back door and basement (we did have an engineer come in to make sure that it wasn't a supporting wall).

I love having just one big room (we had that in our house in Alberta).

We went with simple wood cupboards because we live in a small farm house with grain bins in the front yard (the cupboards are from Home Depot).

While deciding the plans for the kitchen I had asked a couple of people who had recently renovated their kitchens what they like about their new kitchens.

My sister has a nice wide space around her island, so we did the same. It worked out great, there is lots of room for everyone to work in the kitchen, even space when the dishwasher is open. She also suggested lots of drawers which I am glad we did too. A dear friend said that she was pleased that she had moved things to have more space between the sink and the stove, and I am so happy with that - I would have kept the stove centred on that wall now there is a great work space. One big change that I wanted was a second sink in the island - my family thought it was a bit much when I suggested it, but now they all think it is so handy, I love it. I am glad that we went with a slide in range rather than a freestanding one - it seems like there is more room on the stove top (we had the free standing version in our last house, it can be one large oven or two small ones), also we went with a counter depth fridge - it has the same amount of space as we had before but it is wider and not as deep, making it much easier to reach things in the back.

There are two areas of renovations that are mine - the painting and tiling (I could do the hard wood floors by myself but I like to have some one to help get it started straight). I was really happy with how the back splash tiles turned out around the window - it's nice when measuring works out!

Photos from around -

Still spending lots of time in the kitchen canning! These are pickled beets and pickled carrots - Taqueria Carrots from a Blueprint class (the verdict is still out on them, maybe time will improve the flavour).

We are still having so much rain-

 crayfish holes everywhere
 the soybean field around us is flooded (the tractor has been sitting there for two weeks)
 we surprised a skunk when we went out for a walk in the rain
 the harvested fields have started growing even the bales have growth on top
(there is a hawk on one of the bales)
a heart shaped red onion
All the best!♥︎

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Fabric Pod

I knew that when we added hooks to our new walk in closet that a hanging basket would be handy. I had been seeing quite a few quilted pods online and thought that would be perfect

I used a piece of fabric that I had snow dyed a few years ago. Every now and then I get out my little stash of hand dyed fabric, admire it, and put it away - not having the heart to cut it up. Recently on Ravelry there has been a few 'make-alongs' involving using your most precious fibre, yarn, etc. I spun some fibre I had been saving a few weeks ago, and it made me realize I should be using my 'precious' fabric too. I am so glad that I did!

I cut out a 12"x20" rectangle (basically the size of the fabric I had to work with). Cut out a curve on the top, and used the leftover piece to cut a 5" circle for the bottom. I quilted the fabric with just a layer of silk batting (because it was thin and I had a small leftover piece the right size), with no backing because I knew I was going to line the pod. 

Using a walking foot for the quilting, and a thick Valdani variegated hand quilting thread on top and regular 50wt sewing thread in the bobbin, I quilted curved, parallel lines.

To shape the pod there are 2 little darts along the top edge and 7 along the bottom. I sewed the back seam and attached the bottom after sewing the darts, then made an identical one with a plain piece of hand dyed fabric for the lining (no batting or quilting). There is a piece of bias binding along the top edge, and a leftover piece of bias tape for the loop. Super simple!

 The grey sweater is coming along - I have separated for the sleeves now.

With a few trips into the city the sparkle socks are growing too.

Apple season ended just in time for the start of tomato season!

With the threat of frost I picked all the tomatoes. We have had so much rain recently that our yard is flooded - hard work in the garden, but the puddles in the yard are great for cleaning rubber boots.

The first batches of salsa,

made with bounty from the garden.

Photos from around -

Racoon prints in the vegetable garden
Echinacea blooming
With all the rain the pond is so full-
From the opposite direction-
We are hoping for a nice, big skating rink this winter.
sunset walk

 All the best!♥︎
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