Four Horizontal Seams Left On My Wensleydale

SPECIAL NOTE: If you’re one of the people who asked how I was cutting my fabric pieces to make these Wensleydale blocks, read all the way to the bottom for a special treat.

I decided that I will actually take tomorrow off as I had planned. It’s not very often that I get a day with no meetings so I decided to go for it. Besides, it’s nearly the end of the fiscal year and we’re in the time of year where we have a bit of a lull.

I did work later than I had hoped tonight so I could get a few things done that have deadlines of tomorrow. Now I can relax and enjoy my day off. I’m going to play pickleball in the morning, then have the rest of the day to do whatever I want.

One thing I want to do is finish my Wensleydale quilt top. I hit my sewing room tonight and sewed together the blocks in the four remaining rows, then sewed those rows into two sets of two rows each.

So all I have left to do on this is sew the final five sets of two rows together. That’s just four horizontal seams and this baby is done!

As I was sewing rows together I came across one block that I must have fallen asleep on…


I did take a few minutes tonight to enjoy these blocks sewn together. It’s really fun to see the fabrics close up… see all the variation in the blue batiks. They’re pretty amazing!

You just don’t see all that gorgeousness when you look at the quilt top in its entirety.

Here’s some more eye candy.

I just love how those dark and light values play together!

And a little more…

And one more, just to be sure. . .

So, now for the special treat I teased at the top.

I happened across the video linked below today. It’s a really cool method that the Quilted Chicken on YouTube came up with for cutting fabrics for paper piecing the Wensleydale blocks. And it looks really great to me!

I will definitely try this when I make my second Wensleydale quilt, but I’ll probably make one block with the fabrics cut with this method before I commit to cutting a bunch, just to make sure the pieces are generous enough to make piecing efficient. But it looks really promising to me!

You can all thank me later for finding this!

Have a happy Friday! I intend to!

A Lovely Long Weekend… And a Bit of Sewing

It was a nice long holiday weekend. It all started Saturday morning with two hours of pickleball. It was a really gorgeous day and it was a great way to start the weekend. I really don’t remember what I did Saturday afternoon. I’m sure I took my boys for a nice long walk but the rest is a blur.

I had to get to bed REALLY early because I needed to be on the road at 4:30 am Sunday for Rico’s sheep herding trial.

I did manage to finish the binding on my NY Beauty wall hanging. I’m pretty happy with how this came together and I’m really glad to have it done. It’s been a lot of years in process.

Sewing on that binding was much easier than I thought it would be. Makes me feel not quite so horrified about the six quilts that will come back to me soon needing binding finished.

Since I had to be up at 3:30 Sunday morning I took some Advil PM at around 8:00 Saturday night and found myself ready to go to bed around 10:30. I was pretty groggy when my alarm went off Sunday morning, But I got out of bed and got moving. We were on the road at 4:30. I was surprised the sky was as light as it was.

I’m happy to say that getting up that early was totally worth it because Rico was a very good boy at the herding trial. He got scores in three of his four runs. That basically means that we didn’t make any mistakes that disqualified us. In sheep herding you start out with a certain number of points for each element of the run. then they deduct points for the parts you don’t do correctly.

Here’s the score sheet for the novice class. Rico had his regular run, and then a non compete run (basically an exhibition run).

This is a trial that allows training in the ring, so that’s really the reason I go. And I really wanted to see Rico do some nice outruns in this trial. it’s where he’s struggled in the last couple of trials. And he gave me beautiful outruns all day. In his first run he lost 7 points on the outrun. On his second run he only lost three points!

Here’s the score sheet for his ranch class. His second run featured a perfect outrun and lift. Those zeros are a very good thing! They mean he did such a lovely job they couldn’t take any points from him!

I was so happy with how he did. Definitely worth the trip. And we started so early that we were on the road home at 10 am!

You can learn all about sheep herding trials at this Wikipedia page.

Here’s Rico watching another dog work the sheep.

He was a good boy and waited patiently for his turn.

Bender got to join us for a nice field run before we hit the road for home.

I was so tired when I got home that about all I could manage to do was a little grocery shopping for my Memorial Day pot luck dinner. I also got my pork tenderloin and chicken thighs in their marinades and in the fridge.

I went and played pickleball again on Monday morning and had a blast! My knee is feeling so much better… thanks to the power of ice and CBD oil!

I had a wonderful time with my friends at our Memorial Day pot luck dinner. The food was good and it was really fun to see friends!

My yard looks pretty perfect right now and we were comfortable outdoors the entire time.

I got up early again today and played 3.5 hours of pickleball! The last four or five games were the best. A lot of people had left and I got on a court with three men and we had a bunch of really fun and competitive games. None of us wanted to go home!

But once I did get home I grabbed some lunch and then headed out to a nice, big garden center West of me.

It’s a beautiful place and it’s huge!

I bought two red grasses and a lavender plant. And I quickly got them planted when I got home…

I also planted a couple of hostas that I bought last week.

After dinner I took the boys for a nice three mile walk. The weather was so perfect! It was really an amazing day.

Then I hit my sewing room to work on the Wensleydale quilt top. I sewed together four more rows of bocks, and sewed the six rows that were done into sets of two rows each.

So just four more rows that need to be sewn together.

And I’m pinning pretty carefully to make sure these blocks all come together nicely. It’s working well so far and I’m liking what I see.

I’m a little anxious to get this quilt off my design wall so I can decide what to do with my Japanese X#+ quilt.

Back to work for a few days. I had planned to take Friday off as well, but I’m not sure that will happen. I’d like to make it happen!

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:

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!