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Thursday, August 10, 2023

Plum Pretty Sunflower

Garden Sunflower Block pattern by Julie Cefalu
I recently saw the cutest sunflower block on Wendy's blog, Pieceful Thoughts. She and Eva made the free pattern by The Crafty Quilter, and I enjoyed their versions so much I saved the pattern. Yesterday in the midst of working on another project, I started thinking about it and decided to make a fun version of my own. Thank you to Wendy and Eva - the instigators of this "squirrel-spiration" and to Julie for the free pattern!

I purchased this pretty Tilda Plum Garden fabric from Ace Hardware on Etsy! They have pretty fabrics and fast shipping. Look at it sitting there in the bin, just begging me to use it.

Wendy had mentioned that the pattern had an interesting little twist, and she was right. It is a new-to-me way to make a triangle, and it was so fun. I think it adds a 3-dimensional effect to the triangle.

I had fun choosing some favorite fabrics to use in this block

I had to sew together two pieces of the black and white polka dot to get the correct size for the center, but I don't mind the barely noticeable seam. I added a 2.5 inch border to the block and need to decide whether to make a pillow or a wall hanging! 

In other news . . .

Jack, Rosie, and Toby have been very helpful in the sewing room lately. Katy (she's 11) sleeps a lot under our bed and rarely comes into the sewing room, but she is still Queen of the house.

And my insert came in for the new sewing table! I do love it and it fits beautifully, but I thought it was going to wrap around the machine more. I contacted Arrow and they kindly responded that each machine is different, and mine is the correct size for my Janome model. Between the new sewing table and the insert, sewing is much more comfortable and easy now!
Sunday, August 6, 2023

Dog Days Happenings

According to Farmer's Almanac, the Dog Days of Summer are July 1 - August 11. These days are typically associated with the heat and humidity that many of us are experiencing. We are fighting heat-motivated laziness, in spite of our nicely maintained 77 degree temperature inside the house - lol! However, a few things have happened worthy of mention.

I keep meticulous records of our weather, and when I documented temperatures for last month and compared them to July 2022, I found that last year was hotter! We had 23 days of 100+ temperatures last July compared to 5 last month. Not only that, but our average high for this past July was less than that of July 2022, plus we received more precipitation last month.

I've been on the stepper most mornings because I don't want to go outside and walk. I read books on my Kindle app on my iPad while I step, and Toby has been enormous help as my coach.

I purchased a new sewing machine table - a Gidget I - from Sewing Machines Plus. I also ordered an acrylic insert to cover those gaps between June Janome and the table. It is supposed to be delivered within a month. The table is a bit lower than the office desk I was using - much more comfortable.

I'm enjoying a couple of cross stitch projects. One is from Kate Stitcher on Facebook. If you "Like" her page, you can have access to her free patterns, such as this cute mug, as well as patterns for purchase. I'd like to make a mug for each season for our "new" coffee station, and this autumn one will be the first.

Another is a Christmas cross stitch by Country Cottage Needleworks that is going very slowly. Will I finish it by Christmas? We shall see!

I've been revisiting an old favorite blog by Karen Ruane. Ten years ago I took one of her online classes called Embroider, Embellish, Create and still have the folder and the samples I created using bits and dabs of vintage fabric and some fabrics of dresses from my youth. I spent hours playing with embroidery and fabric. This a project that I picture myself doing again "one of these days".

Current quilting project is for my sis-in-law. It is the Winging It pattern by Wendy Sheppard, and I am halfway there on blocks at 16. The blocks will be in a more random pattern, then they will get sashed and bordered.

Watching TV in our nice cool living room has been big for us this summer. We finally discovered the wonderful Ted Lasso and binged on it, disappointed when we reached the last episode. Another series we enjoyed was Hijack, with Idris Elba - love him! And we recently finished Shining Girls with Elisabeth Moss. In the meantime, of course, we are watching Outlander.

What is going on in your world this summer?