24 days later

WOW!  It’s been over 3 weeks since I wrote.  Time does apparently fly when you’re having fun.  Or is it that it moves faster as you age?  Or is it just that there’s so much to DO that I forget to take the time to blog?

Either way, it’s been a while!

The chickens are doing well.  We’re getting 7 eggs a day consistently, which is more than we can use so I’ve started selling a few dozen a week.  The difference in fresh eggs is so amazing that I am convinced I’ll have chickens as long as I have the land to raise them on!

Our garden has been going crazy this year!  My new canning shelves are almost full, but I still haven’t put up any fruits, nor enough fruit juices, well besides the strawberry jam and strawberry sauce.  And as you can see I’ve got more potatoes to store today now that they’re dried off from digging (note to self get another storage basket):

Whoops!  I didn’t realize I left my sandals on the chair when I came in from mowing last night!  And it’s time now to re-till the ground, pull some of the plants in the garden, put up the fence to keep the critters out and plant my winter garden.  The winter garden here this year will be mostly greens, beets and peas.

On the knitting front I’ve finished one shawl:

Although I need to re-block it as I didn’t get it shaped quite right.  It’s supposed to be stretch into almost a half circle shape.  And I’ve almost finished a second shawl:

This one was a kit I purchased some time ago when I fell in love with the colors of the hand-dyed yarn in it.  I think I’m going to really like the shape of this one as well, it comes to more of an elongated point on the front edges.

On the quilting front I’m still working away at a few new patterns (to be shown at a later time), and I’ve done quite a bit of custom quilting this summer.  This is a sneak peak at the current customer quilt on the frame:

It’s taken much longer than I anticipated, due to the bending over neck issues and my lack of hydraulics on my machine table to raise it to height.  But it’s coming out pretty well and I’m hoping my customer will love it when it’s finished.

Of course part of what takes away blogging time is always the “normal” stuff….. you know the real job (husband’s company paperwork) and the required job (housework) and in the summer there’s the acre of land with all that weeding!  Who’s idea was it to put in so many flower gardens?  Oh yeah, that one was mine!  LOL

Oh and I’ve revamped part of my design room to allow for a little bit of painting:

And even allowed some time to play with a little bit of silk painting on stretched wire:

And lest you think that in all this I have neglected my spinning wheel, I assure you that I haven’t:

The jumbo bobbin is a silk/merino 2 ply that I struggled with a bit this summer.  It wasn’t the fiber, it was apparently me.  But I’ve gotten it done and moved onto a Merino/Alpaca blend that I carded myself and am now spinning with the lace flyer in the hopes of getting a fine enough 2 ply for another lacework shawl.

So, as you can see, time really does fly when you’re having fun…….and there’s so much to do that occasionally I tend to forget to blog.  Okay, maybe MORE than occasionally!!!  But I always try to make up for it……….even if that means it’s a super-long, photo heavy post!

Happy quilting, spinning, knitting, gardening, painting, or whatever else makes YOUR heart sing!

Yesterday I painted……

Yesterday I painted fabrics, today I started working with them. I knew the very first piece I wanted to work on was one I didn’t post yesterday as it never got a chance to be folded up. As soon as I removed the stems and leaves from the piece I knew exactly how I wanted it quilted. But first I had to outline and detail the stems and leaves, add in some ground for them to grow out of and add on the setting pieces.

So, to recap, stage one was painting the center. Stage two is detailing the center and adding the setting. Stage three will be to begin the quilting in all those wonderful open spaces! Then, and only then, will I decide whether or not to add any bling to this. I’m thinking I may, but it depends on how the quilting comes out. I’ll only add the possible bling if it will add to the piece overall.

I’m hoping for Wednesday evening, if all goes well at work this week, to be able to load this and start the quilting on it.

I do wish you could see this in person, my camera just does not do the color and depth justice.

Painted Fabrics

The weather and the timing were perfect this morning and I was able to get outside for a little bit and do some fabric painting. I never know quite what I’m going to come up with on days like today, it’s just a matter of whichever color paints I combine that particular day.

These were done with Pebeo Setacolor paints, in bright sunlight.  After drying these, heat setting them in the dryer and then steam pressing them, the hand is wonderful and I’m looking forward to getting to work with these.  (yes, I have plans for them!)

The process I use is really simple.  I used a PFD (prepared for dyeing) fabric this morning, but have used regular commercial cottons, white on whites, tone on tones, whatever I have on hand that I want to use.

First I cut my pieces into sizes I want to work with, today I used fat quarter pieces.  I soak them in a bucket of plain water and gather my supplies.  Supplies today included my Setacolor paints, a spray bottle of water, foam brushes and some plastic trays.  One piece at a time, I choose my colors and method.  Most of these are scrunched, a few are specifically striped and hung to dry.

What is do to start is to spread the wet piece of fabric out onto the picnic table (where I work) and pour a little paint into a plastic tray, brush it onto the fabric with the foam brush, spraying the fabric with the water bottle to keep it wet and to spread the colors.   Sometimes I’ll pick up a piece of fabric and twist it, or paint the colors in stripes and then twist.  After the piece is sufficiently painted to my liking, I scrunch the fabric on the picnic table and leave it to dry.  It’s the scrunching that causes the deep variations in the color.

The pieces I want more control on (skies, landscape backgrounds), I’ll paint in specific strokes and leave to dry either flat on the picnic table, or if it’s striped, I may hang it on the line to dry.  Sometimes I hang it with the stripes vertical so there is no color run between stripes and sometimes I hang it with the stripes horizontal if I’m not concerned about color run.  Although when it’s this hot, the paint doesn’t have long to run before it’s actually dried!

I actually have no green or purple paints in my colors.  I have several shades of yellows, reds, oranges and blues, with one jar of Fawn as well.  Part of the fun of this (for me) is to pull the paints I think are going to produce a specific color range and see if it actually does that once they’re mixed.  Today I was spot on for 10 of the 11 fabrics.  Which one do you think I was “off” for?