About Time for This UFO

I’m glad today is Friday. I’m glad I have a four day weekend coming up. I’m glad the weather is lovely. I wish my knee didn’t hurt. So do my boys. Another day with no walk to let it recover a little.

I had a wonderful lunch with a former co-worker today. We talked for three hours! It was really fun to catch up. I had a couple quick meetings when I got back, then chunked through some email, then I was done for the day and the weekend.

After dinner tonight I had a nice phone conversation with a friend as I sat on the patio on a gorgeous evening. Then I decided to dig into the closet in my sewing room and pull out a quilt that’s been sitting unfinished for way too long. It’s a Japanese X and + quilt that I’m making for my guest room. I’m pretty sure I started this at least five years ago and I’m pretty sure I haven’t touched it during the pandemic.

This is made from all Kaffe Fassett Collective Fabrics. I was thinking I still needed to make four or five blocks, but in counting the blocks I found that I have 42 done. The blocks will finish at around 12.5 inches. I think that’s going to be plenty big for the double bed in my guest room. I was planning on adding substantial borders to get it up to size. I have lots of fabric for borders, backing and eventually pillow cases.

So now I’m motivated to finish sewing the Wensleydale blocks together so I can get that off my design wall and get this one up and decide if I have enough blocks.

Here’s the pattern I’ve used for the Japanese X & + quilt.

I did manage to sew two rows of the Wensleydale top together tonight. Since there’s only six blocks in each row It will go pretty quickly.

I’m taking the time to pin carefully so my points line up nicely from block to block. I don’t want to do all that work and have this last step look messy.

It’s worth the time.

I also decided to press the seams between blocks open because there’s bit of bulk where the points come together. I do not enjoy pressing seams open.

I stopped at two rows sewn together and decided to sit down and do some hand sewing on the binding for my NY Beauty wall hanging while I watched some TV and wound down for the evening.

I actually sat down first and watched a couple videos on how to hand sew bindings and they were really helpful. I got nearly three sides of this little quilt done and it was easy and pretty quick.

Of course, the KFC fabrics are really silky and soft so the needle goes through them nicely.

I’m supposed to go play pickleball tomorrow morning but I’ll play it by ear and see how my knee feels.

Sunday I’m heading up to Olympia, WA, for a sheep herding trial with Rico. The start time is 7:00 am, which means I’m going to have to be on the road at 4:30 am!!! I can’t believe I just typed that!

One of my boys is very farty tonight. I’m not sure which one but there’s a definite prolonged pungent pong around here.

Wrapping Up Another UFO

I met a consultant I know through work for lunch today at a restaurant we love in Lake Oswego, OR, for some yummy tacos, chips and guacamole, and spicy Margaritas. We used to go to lunch at this restaurant every couple months before the pandemic hit. I saw her for the first time since the pandemic hit a few weeks ago when we had a lunch meeting with a vendor we both work with. It was so much fun to see her so we agreed to meet for lunch today. The food was so good. The margaritas were soooo delicious, and the company was wonderful.

After having a couple of cocktails with lunch, I wasn’t worth much the rest of the afternoon. So I spent a few hours catching up on emails and my to do list.

I’ve had a sore knee this week so decided to not walk today to give it a break. My boys don’t like this at all, but they got several play sessions in the back yard so that helped.

After feeding my boys dinner I hit my sewing room to make the binding for my NY Beauty wall hanging. You know how much I like making bindings!

It didn’t take very long because the quilt is only about 36 inches square. So before long I was wrestling it all through my machine.

Sewing this binding to this small quilt makes me really glad that I don’t have to sew binding to a big quilt!

Once I got it sewn on I had to find a video to remind myself how to join the two ends of the binding together. I do it so rarely that I always forget how to do it.

It’s really simple to do. I once purchased a special ruler to join bindings and this method is so much easier!

Once I got it joined I pressed and sewed that final section.

Then I pressed the binding and got it all clipped in place. I’ll hand sew it later.

I really like that pop of orange for the binding. It’s such a wonderful color with the blue border. It’s also in the quilt.

I’m not putting a sleeve or other hanging devices in this piece. I’m going to hang a small curtain rod on the wall above my sewing machine and will hang this using curtain rings with clips. That will make it easy to switch out different pieces when I need a change.

I didn’t walk today but noticed some lovelies on our walk last night.

More and more roses are blooming.

The peonies are starting to open up. Look at this gorgeous monster!!! It must have been more than six inches across!

I think this might be some kind of Lupine.

And the threes are showing all kinds of new growth…. so soft and so green.

I’m meeting a former coworker for lunch tomorrow. He retired at the end of last summer and I haven’t seen him since. I’m looking forward to it. But there will be no Margaritas tomorrow!

I have Monday off for the Memorial Day holiday, then I’m taking Tuesday off. Some friends and I are planning a get together here at my place on Monday.

Wensleydale on the Design Wall and a Corgi Puppy

After dinner tonight I walked to a friend’s house to see their new corgi puppy and to take her a toy I whipped up for her.

Meet Bella. She’s just 11 weeks old.

It seems like it’s been a long time since I got to hang out with a little puppy. And I have to say, there is no puppy cuter than a corgi puppy!

She really liked the toy I made her!

And of course, I had to take a little video.

GAH! So cute! It’s nice to get a puppy fix.

After our evening walk I hit my sewing room and stacked all my value sorted Wensleydale blocks in preparation of getting them up on the design wall.

I like sorting by value or color, combining into a stack as it makes getting blocks arranged on the design wall easier. I feel like this first attempt is pretty good.

It always helps to make the photo black and white to just look at value.

I can see a couple areas here that I’ll want to adjust. But I’m really glad I made the last ten blocks really light and really dark. This quilt top needed those stark blocks.

Here’s an area that feels flat and too gray.

The entire column on the left side feels very gray and flat to me as well. It’s entirely possible that it’s just the lighting and photo. It very well may look completely different in real life. But this shows me areas to take a good look at.

I’ll leave these blocks on the design wall for a few days while I noodle over it and make some changes. But I’m not going to agonize over it. I feel pretty happy with this as it is.

And you shouldn’t be surprised that I put block #59 in the center of the quilt!

It’s likely I’ll have this sewn together this weekend. I’d like to check this off my list.

I think my next project will be a quick and easy one. I want to get the binding on this lovely that will hang above my sewing table.

That’s an easy evening’s project and it will feel good to finally finish this. I think I started this at least six years ago!

I’ve been thinking a lot today about this Magnificent Beast, Forrest. He was born 20 years ago today.

Most people I know have that one dog that was THE dog of a lifetime and mine was Forrest. He’s been gone for 5.5 years now and I smile about him often. It’s Forrest’s paw print that I had tattooed on my left arm a year ago.

One of my favorite photos of Forrest…

This photo was taken by my friend Heather during a hike in May. It was rainy and cool and I was going to leave Forrest at home because he was 14 at the time. He would have none of it… he wouldn’t let me leave the house without him. So I grabbed his little coat and took him along… knowing that I’d have to carry him for a god portion of the hike. I’m so glad I took him along. He had such a wonderful time… and so did I.

Forrest on the far left with Bender next to him. Rico is on the far right. He was only about six months old in this photo. His left ear hadn’t yet decided to stand at attention!

After the recent heat we’ve had, I had to break down and turn on my furnace this morning! I’m glad the heat is gone, but I’m not feeling positive that we’re going to have any delicious Oregon strawberries this spring.

Wensleydale Blocks are All Done!!

I had just enough juice left tonight after work, two hours of pickleball and a 2 mile walk with my boys to finish up the final two Wensleydale blocks.

Here’s #60 under my needle.

And the final block finished and trimmed.

And I showed you the final block because I’m saving the best for last. I really think that block #59 just might be my favorite of all the blocks.

Many of the blocks I’ve made for this quilt are my favorite at the time I make them, but I think this might be the best of all of them! Maybe because it was almost the last.

Here’s the final two blocks together.

And a look at the final 10 blocks. . . look at all the lovely contrast!

Makes me think that when I make this pattern again I’ll plan more carefully to have that strong contrast between blocks. It gives a really cool effect and I’m guessing a lot of secondary patterns would emerge.

Once I got these two blocks done tonight I peeled the paper off the last ten blocks while I watched the last couple episodes of Ted Lasso on Apple TV.

I’ve got all the blocks sorted into piles by value of the outer fabric: dark, medium dark, medium light and light.

I still need to put the most recent blocks into their piles than if I have time I’ll toss them all up on my design wall tomorrow night.

I’m going to visit a friend tomorrow night who has a new corgi puppy. I’ve been looking forward to meeting here. There’s really nothing cuter than a corgi puppy.

Now it’s time to figure out what I’m going to make next.

Two More Wensleydale Blocks to Go

I had really hoped to finish up the four remaining Wensleydale blocks this weekend but it just wasn’t going to happen. The only time I spent in my sewing room was this evening. I had a busy weekend.

Here’s the two blocks I finished up tonight. And I LOVE them.

I tossed them in with some I made the other night just to see how they look.

And some large photos because I love looking at them.

Maybe I’ll actually finish the last two blocks tomorrow night.

I got up way too early yesterday morning so I could be ready to play pickleball at 8 am!!! I can’t really believe I did that on a Saturday! But I had a blast and really wore myself out. I played outdoors and it was a gorgeous day! It was so nice to be outside in the sun.

When I got home from Pickleball I had enough time to take the boys for a nice walk before I had to hit the road again. I noticed that the roses in my neighborhood are starting to bloom.

My yellow rose has exploded in the last few days.

My rhododendron, however, is not quite so spectacular. I noticed today that it only has three blooms on it.

And I can’t see any buds that are waiting to open. This plant is usually just covered with blooms. I did notice that there’s a lot of new growth on it.

I wonder if this is just a cyclical thing. I sort of remember that I’ve had pathetic blooms in the past.

Once we were back from our walk and had some Cheerios for lunch (yes, Cheerios make a fantastic lunch!) I tossed my boys in the car and we were on our way to Carlton, Oregon. It’s southwest of me an hour and is in the heart of Oregon’s wine country. I was headed there to drop off my quilts with the long armer who is trading quilt tops for quilting. I took twelve quilt tops with me (six with backings and binding) and came home with none! It’s exciting to know that I’m going to have some gorgeous quilts coming home soon. And it’s nice to get my closet drawers cleaned out.

I really enjoyed the drive. . . gorgeous rolling hills of farm land, Hazelnut groves and vineyards. I took the back way home and love every second of it.

I dropped the dogs off at home and headed to the garden store to buy my annual food type plants. I bought four tomato plants, a few strawberry plants and three varieties of lettuce.

And I got them all planted before dinner. My tomato plants are in this larger stock tank.

My lettuce is planted in a smaller stock tank.

The stock tank at the top of this photo with the netting is where my strawberries are planted. I add a handful of new plants each year.

I took the boys for a nice three-mile walk when I got home. I was exhausted and didn’t have any oomph left to do any sewing.

I slept in this morning and sort of just had a lazy morning. Then I left at 12:30 to play 2.5 hours of pickleball. And I had a blast! I’m trying out some loaner paddles from a store and I played with one today that I just love. I’m probably going to have go buy one now.

Once home from Pickleball I took the boys for a nice three mile walk. It was a gorgeous evening. I even had to put on a sweatshirt!

Another work week, then I’ll have a four day weekend with lots of pickleball and a sheep herding trial for Rico.

Three More Wensleydale Blocks and a Bit of Inspiration

It was a really nice day here today. A little cooler than the last few days. We even took an afternoon walk and it was lovely. We had a nice evening walk too. My phone tells me that we walked over 7 miles today. That seems a little hard to believe. I though we had walked about 5.5 miles.

Once we got home from our evening walk I hit my sewing room to whip out three more Wensleydale blocks. With these three done, I just have FOUR more to go!!! Wahoo!

I’m posting large photos of each block because I know some of you enjoy looking at the fabric combos in each block… and I do too!

Wow! I just LOVE how different each block is. And the color in that last one is so good… the turquoise and green in the leaves in the dark fabric combined with the pop of the yellow spots… LOVE IT!

Here’s the six I’ve made most recently.

And as I’m getting close to finishing the blocks for this quilt top, I got a nice surprise shot of inspiration today that might determine my next project.

As I was looking at Instagram last night I came across a video from an account that I hadn’t previously followed. I used to make pottery in a previous lifetime and I follow some ceramics accounts so Instagram occasionally suggests something really interesting to me. This account that Instagram suggested really spoke to me and I looked at a few of this potter’s things last night. Check out Greg Rasmussen Ceramics on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/gregg_rasmusson_ceramics/

I was looking at his pots again today during my lunch hour and ran across a pot that made me look deeper and deeper into his photos. And I found a lot of variations on the pot I had seen that pulled me in.

I’ve been wanting to make a different version of the sea glass wall hanging I made for a friend last summer. This one.

I’d really like to have a very different version of this to hang on the wall of my sewing room.

I had in my mind that I wanted to combine an array of different color ways of Philip Jacobs’ Brassica with a teal-ish blue shot cotton I purchased for this purpose for the background.

So I had this brainstorm to apply the pieces of brassica on the shot cotton in a pattern similar to the pot that inspired me. I have a pretty strong idea running through my head. So the creative idea is there and is strong. Now I just have to figure out how the hell to actually do it!

I’m thinking of drawing the pattern on brown craft paper or maybe freezer paper. Somehow I’m going to have to get some guidelines onto the fabric to maintain the overall design. I’m going to have to organize and keep track of a lot of little pieces of fabric so I can put them all on in the right order. It’s going to take some thinking and planning to keep it all organized and get it on the fabric accurately.

Hmmm. I’m going to have to do some noodling on this but I see something really cool in my brain! I hope I can bring it to fruition.

I noticed today that my first roses have bloomed. These little yellow roses are a favorite of mine.

One more day then the weekend! I’ve scheduled a four day weekend over the Memorial Day weekend, and then a three day weekend the following week. It will be nice to have those extra days. I’m thinking my boys need a trip up to the Columbia for a nice swim. That might be on our agenda for one of those days.

I was asked in the comments on my last blog post about the pattern names for the quilts I’m taking to the long armer this weekend. So here goes:

#1 is a version of the Algorithm quilt from GE Designs Stripology Squared book. You can find it with a Google search.

#2 This pattern is by Sweet Jane and is called Flowers in the Garden. You can find it on Etsy here.

#3 This is a scrappy trip around the world quilt made from Bonnie Hunter’s Tutorial.

#4 This quilt is Fractured. You can find it here.

#5 I didn’t use a pattern, but this blog post includes info on how I made this.

#6 This one was my own design. This blog post has info on how I made this one.

Lots of projects for someone who needs one!

Wensleydale Blocks… Three Down, Seven to Go

It was sort of a perfect day here in Portland. Sunny and only a little over 80 degrees. So we started our evening walk a little earlier tonight.

Once we got home I hit my sewing room to dig in on a few Wensleydale blocks. And I got three done. That means I only have seven more to go! Here’s the three I made tonight. I’m posting large photos because I just love looking at them!

It’s kind of hard to believe that I only have seven more blocks to make to hit the magic number — 60!

Here’s all three blocks together.

Over the last couple weeks I’ve been streaming videos from Kate at The Last Homely House on YouTube while I sew. Tonight I watched a video about indigo dying. It’s a great thing to have on as I sew. One of my blog readers (sorry, can’t remember who it was) recommended Kate’s videos to me about a year ago. You should check her out.

Once this quilt top is done I’m going to have a lot of indigo batiks left over. I have an idea of a quilt to make that will use up some of them. I would combine them, again, with KFC scraps but in a different way.

I’d still probably have a lot of indigo batiks left over!

Before I wrapped up tonight I packaged up my recently finished bindings with their backings and quilt tops.

I’ll be meeting with the long armer who is trading some of my finished quilt tops for quilting services this weekend. It feels like it’s taken me forever to get to this point! As a reminder, here’s the six quilts I’m going to have her quilt.

Isn’t it funny that there’s so much red in there.

Jefe will be picked up tomorrow. He has been a really easy and well mannered houseguest. It’s been fun having a little dog sleeping on my lap for a few days.

Bender will be sad to see Jefe leave and take his little bed with him.

And last thing tonight, my snowball tree is in all its glory right now.

The blooms are huge!

Here’s the same bush when I bought my property in 2010. It was under some large Douglas fir trees on the property next door that were removed about 7 hears ago to build a big house.

You can see the Doug firs on the other side of the fence. That snowball bush was the only thing happy to see those trees cut down. Amazing what some sun will do for a plant!

You also see in that photo my Parson Russell terriers Forrest and Skeeter.

I planted four Doug firs on my side of the fence after those trees were removed. They’re over 20 feel tall now!

Back to My Indigo Wensleydale

My weather app told me that we were expecting a round of thunder storms to rumble through this evening and throughout most of the night, with the possibility of flooding in some areas. But the whole thing fell apart and I didn’t get more than a few sprinkles. Rico was very relieved that there would be no thunder.

So we headed out for a walk once we felt confident that we weren’t going to get stuck in a downpour. We got to see a gorgeous sunset as we walked. And it just got better and better.

The first glimpse I got of it was when we got to the park just three blocks from my house.

My house is about 300 yards on the other side of those trees.

About a quarter mile from this spot, the sunset was at its best.

It’s such a treat to have our walk include a gorgeous view of a fiery sky.

When I got home it was a little after 9:00. I messed around, put a load of laundry in the machine, and finally hit my sewing room at 10 pm. For me, the night is young at 10 pm!!

The first thing I did was make two more of the selvedge blocks. I’m really loving how these look.

I have some ideas of additional pieces to make to add up to a bag, but I need to be careful because I have a limited amount of these selvedges.

With all those nasty backings and bindings I’ve been working on I’ve been itching to get back to the final ten blocks for my Wensleydale quilt. So I took a few minutes and cut the remaining light batiks I need for five of the blocks.

Then I made up the last five kits for these blocks.

I hope to be able to get a couple of these blocks sewn tomorrow night.

I love the evenings this time of year. I’ve tried to make a comfy place to hang out on my patio and I just love it. I recently purchased some LED solar lights that screw onto the top of a Mason jar. Then I ordered some metal stakes to hang them in my planters. You can see them in this photo. they have a little string of LED multi colored lights bunched up on the inside.

Here’s a quilt video tour I made tonight.

We still have our little house guest, Jefe, here for a couple more days. He’s been fun to have around and he’s really easy. It’s been a long time since I had an old dog in the house and it’s really interesting to deal with a dog who is almost completely blind and very deaf.

He really does an amazing job of making his way around my half-acre yard. He’s developed his own path and finds his way all the way to the back of the yard and then back to the patio without issue. He’s even discovered the dogs’ wading pool and thinks it’s the best place to get a drink.

He’s been sleeping a lot the last couple days. I think all the activity an excitement has worn him out.

I’m sorry to report that I’m a little disappointed in my boys again this year. Once again they completely forgot Mother’s Day.

I’m looking at my calendar and planning a nice long weekend in the next few weeks. Every day I take off reminds me that I need more!

Hallelujah! Six Bindings Made!

It was hot today in Portland. When I pulled off the freeway at 10:30 this morning on the way to Rico’s sheep herding lesson, it was already 80 degrees! It reached 90 degrees today at my house. That’s too hot too early. A full thirty degrees above where it should be. And I don’t like it.

But Rico was brilliant in his lesson. I’m so happy with how he’s doing. It’s my last lesson before I have him entered in another trial at the end of this month.

I was going to take the boys for a field run in the park with the stream, but I missed my turn and ended up on I-5 south and just decided to keep heading home. The traffic was terrible. When I got home it was past time for lunch.

After lunch I dug in and made two more bindings. This one…

… and this one… which I messed up and had to fix.

After lazing around a little bit and then feeding the dogs their dinner, I hit my sewing room again and whipped up this beauty.

I Just LOVE that octopus fabric! And I think it’s going to be a fun touch on my ice storm quilt.

Then I whipped up a salad for my dinner and took my boys for a short 2 mile walk after the sun went down.

When I got home I forced myself back into my sewing room to finish up the final yet boring binding for my red KFC Fractured quilt.

That’s all six done! I didn’t enjoy a minute of making these, but it feels really good to have them done!

Then I decided to play around with all those lovely selvedges that are left over from the backings I made recently. So I cut some 5 inch paper squares and started placing the selvedge strips on the paper, then sewed them all together.

I made two of these little blocks before I called it quits.

My plan is to put four of these together in a diamond shape and sew them into a bag.

I searched for selvedge sewing projects on Pinterest the other night and found some really fun ideas.

I keep seeing these fabrics on my cutting table and I can’t help but think there’s a quilt in there screaming to get out!

I’ll have to keep this in mind. It’s pretty fun!

I’m supposed to play pickleball tomorrow but I’m guessing it will be too damned hot. I’ll head over there and see if it’s ok to play.

Other than that, I have no exciting plans for my Sunday. Maybe change my sheets. Now THAT’S a good time!

Bindings Do Not Bring Me Joy

After finishing a radio drive, taking two work days off, and trying to catch up during this short week, work has been really hectic this week. I’ve been stressed and tired at night without much oomph for sewing.


I’m slowly chunking away at the bindings needed before I can take six quilts to my long arm friend who is trading quilt tops for quilting. Well, I actually haven’t touched them all week since cutting them. But I finally forced myself into my sewing room tonight to get moving.

I got two bindings marked, sewn and pressed.

Those are rolled up and tied with a fabric scrap. All ready to put into a package with the quilt top and finished backing.

I find making bindings to be quite tedious and annoying.

Marking all those corners — annoying.

Pressing yards and yards of fabric strips — annoying.

Seeing them done and ready to go away — satisfying.

It’s not the kind of sewing that brings me much joy. It’s an annoying task that has to be done. I would rather it was done by someone other than me.

But I’m making progress. Four more to go. I’ve promised myself that I will finish these six bindings before I finish the last ten blocks of my Wensleydale quilt top.

We have a special visitor here this week. Meet Jefe (pronounced HEFF-ay). It means boss.

He belongs to a co-worker who is traveling to celebrate a sibling’s graduation. Jefe is, I think, ten. He’s tiny, probably a Yorky. He’s almost completely blind and very deaf. He’s really easy to have around and he’s really sweet. My boys pretty much ignore him.

Oh, and he LOVES food! And he sleeps a lot! He and Bender had a nap together this afternoon. Jefe is snoring next to me on the sofa as I type.

For being as blind as he is, he’s doing a good job of exploring my large back yard. He’s sort of developed his own path and can make his way around and back to the patio pretty efficiently. He does occasionally make a wrong turn and run into something, but he’s not moving very fast so it doesn’t do much damage.

He’ll be here with us through Wednesday. It’s fun to have a little dog in the house, and it’s nice to have a dog who likes to snuggle. Neither of my boys are snugglers.

Spring continues to get more and more beautiful here. On our walk this evening the smells of different blooming things was almost overwhelming at times. The lilacs are in all their glory right now and they smell so amazing in the evening. This Is my lilac.

This pale pink lilac is one I see on our walks. I’ve never seen another one like this. It’s the most pale color of pink and the petals are large.

Here’s a closer view.

It’s so gorgeous! I would love to have one of them in my yard.

Here’s two plants I stuck my nose into on our walk tonight. Both smelled so amazing!

What an amazing time of year here! And today was a perfect day. But we have some hot weather coming. It’s going to be close to 90 degrees this weekend, and the highs will be in the upper 80s for each of the next ten days. It’s way too early in the year to have temps like that. It doesn’t bode well for the summer. I guess I’d better get my air conditioner fired up.

The sunset during our walk last night was pretty spectacular.

I wasn’t able to get a great photo on my street because of houses. But I did get this photo of my house with the sunset.

And this photo made me think of Wanda at the Exuberant Color blog who posted some photos earlier this week of trees during the golden hour…. how they change when the sun hits them in the evening.

We actually got rained on during our walk last night. But the low sun was shining on the tops of these trees.

I love walking during a lovely sunset.

One more day of work and I get another weekend. I’m going to look at my calendar tomorrow and plan some days off before the end of June. Maybe a nice long weekend over Labor Day weekend. I might even go to a two-day sheep herding camp.