Friday, July 31, 2020

Six Months of WOOFA

I'm six months into my year of trying to finish sewing room projects. I joined the WOOFA challenge in February because it seemed like a fun way to focus my effort. July has not been a great month for me because I got distracted with house stuff and it's been really hot which tends to make my upstairs sewing room too warm to work in.

I finished recovering the living room furniture. It feels good to check off this task.
I also finished my Xmas quilt in July. It's King size so I can't take a good photo of the complete top.
This is the first time I have ever sewn on a border with mitered corners.

Here's my WOOFA list to date. I've finished more than half the list! Yay me! Now that I have plenty of Xmas fabric scraps, I'll probably make some placemats before I put the leftover fabric away.

Bind Batik Quilt (when returned from quilter)
Halloween Monster Wreath (started)
Harvest Placemats
Harvest Quilt
Jeff’s Georgian Coat
Louisa’s Dress Batik
Rag Quilt Grey
Rag Quilt Solar System
Rag Quilt Xmas
Square Dance Skirt (elastic, eyelet)
Stack & Whack Quilt
Stenciled Pillow (panel stenciled already)
Tie Large Disaster Quilt (or just ditch it)
Xmas Placemats

Bind Dinosaur Lap Quilt
Canvas Bag Repair (replace handles)
Denim Circle Quilt
Denim Circle Tote Bag
Jeff’s Lumbar Pillow
Log Cabin Quilt (started decades ago)
Louisa’s Dress Y-P
Louisa’s Dress: Remodel sq. dance skirt to Louisa Dress
Mug Rugs
Navy/Gold Placemats
Rag Quilt Floral Y-G-R-P
Recover Living Room Furniture
Sharon’s Lumbar Pillow
Summer Placemats
Tie/Quilt Scrap Lap Quilt
White Brocade Napkins
Woven Denim Tote Bag
Xmas Quilt

Thursday, July 16, 2020

July's Blooms

This is a post for the Garden Blogger's Bloom Day for July. We continue to enjoy some lovely flowers in our yard. I'm in Portland, Oregon, zone 8b.
Gaillardia (Blanket Flower) 'Arizona Apricot' and Coreopsis (Tickseed).
Last March, I planted an Orange Honeysuckle in this back spot but it died so I replaced it with a bleeding heart vine which is doing well.
Dactylicapnos (Dicentra) scandens, Yellow Bleeding Hearts Vine
Daylily (Hemerocallis) 'Ledgewood's Jumpstart'
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) 'Pretty Woman'. It's supposed to be red, but it's pretty nonetheless.
Oenothera versicolor ‘Sunset Boulevard’ / Sundrops
Viola Pansy Sorbet 'Lemon Chiffon'. I got a late start growing these from seeds so they're pretty small.
Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora 'Nova Dragonfire'
Corydalis ‘Canary Feathers’. I love this plant; it has been flowering since early April.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Backyard Before & Afters

I found myself looking at some photos from 2010 when we first looked at this house (before we made an offer) and I was struck at the difference in the backyard. I decided to try and take some "after" photos. I could not take the photos from exactly the same spots.
Before photo taken in April 2010, when we toured the house.
Before photo taken in April 2010, when we toured the house.
This is not really an "after" photo as we continue to make changes, but this is how it looks today.

We have recently been adding elderberry shrubs but they're mostly too small to see them in photos. Last month we added a Sambucus nigra 'Purpurea' (black elderberry) in the rain garden behind the house ultimately to replace the ninebark. I have not been happy with how the ninebark looks in the garden and while it is a native, it is not terribly useful to birds and bees. According to my research, the elderberries will have more value for the birds and bees and I prefer the way they look once they're grown. (I realize that ninebarks are supposed to be good for bees, but I really paid attention this year. I went outside several times a day and I virtually never saw any bees on its flowers.)

Then today, we planted two new shrubs under the red oak, a Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace' (black elderberry) and a Ribes nigrum 'Black September' (black currant). I obviously have a weakness for burgundy shrubs.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Closet Sifting

We didn't manage to finish the closet built-ins until August 2013 and then I slowly worked my way through unpacking my boxes. Since I had gained weight by then, I only unpacked the largest sizes. Even then, I don't recall having a lot of options of clothes that fit me. I'm not going to get into a long discussion of my various health problems, but my closet fell into disuse. There were clothes in there, but by last year, virtually all of them were too small. I tended to avoid going in there because it just made me feel bad. I kept telling myself I should just get rid of the clothes that no longer fit but I suppose I had always hoped I could lose the weight.

On my birthday a few weeks ago I was looking for something to wear and in desperation, I went into my closet and grabbed out some clothes. They fit!

Then yesterday, when I found myself surfing around online looking at clothes to buy, I finally prodded myself back into my closet. It was time to do a proper sift.

I was ecstatic when I realized virtually all of the shirts and dresses fit. I still have a way to go on my weight goals so I may yet have to buy some clothing. But not yet.
The one thing I had managed to do in the intervening years was to get rid of the boxes of smaller clothes I had never unpacked. Now I wish I hadn't. But when I finally reach my goal, I guess my reward will be to do some clothing shopping.

Among the items I hadn't gotten around to doing was getting rid of a couple of tuxes Jeff inherited when he was in high school. They had been altered to fit him at the time so he could wear them to dances/proms. They fit too!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

July Friday Night w/Friends

I started assembling the Xmas Log Cabin quilt for this month's Friday Night with Friends. I had planned to finish putting it together today, but then I remembered it's the 4th of July. For those who celebrate, I hope you all have a great day. Time to BBQ!

Monday, June 29, 2020

Quilt Sashing Finished

I spent the last couple of days cutting out and sewing the parts for the sashing on the Xmas Log Cabin quilt. I used the cheater method shared on this website to sew on the points.
This fabric is the Holiday Flourish line from Robert Kaufman.
Time for some assembly!

Sunday, June 28, 2020

This Week's Blooms

It's time to post flower photos again. There are so many we've been enjoying.
Daylily 'Mandolin.' This was actually a freebie from Schreiner's Iris Gardens with our order last fall.
It's quite pretty.
Daylily 'Burnin Down the House.' It looks quite different than I was expecting it to look
but I'm hoping it will change as the plant gets more established.
I think this is a Calendula Resina I grew from seed.
(I planted 3 different varieties of calendula and they weren't all tagged.)
Our Pacific Iris 'Canyon Snow' has given us a second round of flowers.
Viola 'Orange Sun' I grew from seed.
This Jimi's Purple Haze Poppy is really tall. When I bought it in spring,
I didn't realize this variety was an annual. Luckily, it was inexpensive and
maybe we'll be able to grow more from the seeds I'm planning to collect.
The flowers on our Spirea Douglasii are finally open and the bees are ecstatic.
They appear almost drunk with pleasure when they're crawling around on it.
Cornflowers 'Black Gem' I grew from seed. They have tall and floppy stalks but the flowers are quite lovely.
I can't believe how large this Heuchera 'Peach Flambe' has grown.
It was a tiny 1.5" plug when I bought it just over a month ago.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

June Friday Night Sew In

I went and retrieved my dinosaur lap quilt from Bent Needle Quilts yesterday so I was able to finish the binding on it for the Friday Night Sew In.
It was quilted with Dino Jungle from Urban Elementz.
Unfortunately, I didn't save any of the print fabric for the binding, and I didn't have enough of the rust-colored batik, so I dug through my stash and found a dark teal fabric that matched pretty well.

Since I learned how to do machine binding last year, I don't bother to hand sew them anymore. Though, I have decided it's worth taking the time to hand sew the corners on the backside before I go through and finish the second pass. The corners turn out much more tidy when I take that time.
I prefer to make my bindings a little wider, but I didn't have enough of this fabric either.
This also completes one of my WOOFA tasks.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

New Holiday Quilt

I started work on my next WOOFA project. It's actually a double-sided quilt which includes a harvest quilt on one side and xmas quilt on the other.
I started by fussy cutting the centers.
But when it came time to start cutting out the rest of the fabric, I didn't feel like doing it, so I turned to finalizing the plan for the xmas quilt. Throughout this planning process, I probably designed about a dozen different xmas quilts in Electric Quilt but I just never fancied any of them well enough. But then I noticed a book on my shelf, Star Log Cabin Quilts, and I thought it would look good in reds and greens. The sashing could be finished with gold stars and would add the finishing touch.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

June Friday Night w/Friends #2

I joined Cheryll again for FNWF on the second Friday. I decided to put a narrow border around my log cabin quilt from last week so I could lock the seams around the edge. I am fussy about measuring everything and pinning at all the seams so it took me a couple of hours. This finishes up this task on my WOOFA list.
I didn't lay it all out with the border on for a photo, but here it is mostly finished three days ago.
I pulled out the fabric for my next project and was thinking about starting the fussy cutting for it, but my back was achy and I decided to call it good enough for the evening.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Yard Tidying

We've been slowly cleaning up the neglected areas of the yard.

This planting bed next to the driveway was overgrown with some groundcovers. I believe one of them was Vinca minor, but I don't know what the other was. We dug them out as much as we could.
Last year we added some sword ferns and this spring we added a tassel fern and autumn fern. Then I put in two poppy plants I picked up while shopping this spring. We had a spare Gordon's flowering currant so we put that in too. And there are a few violas we grew from seed. In fall, I'll add some bulbs.
And we cleaned up and planted another bed in the backyard next to the stairs down from the patio. It was an untidy mess.
Jeff decided to put in a scrap 2x6 to help support the slope and then double dug it. We planted in some plants that were grown from seed and a few purchased plants.
 We'll likely add some sort of groundcover, but we haven't decided what to use yet. I've gotten tired of ajuga. I may put in some strawberries.