Tuesday, March 31, 2020

March WOOFA Wrap-Up

I finished the Circle Denim Quilt at the beginning of the month. I had planned to take this quilt to a laundromat to fray up the edges, but it will wait now as hanging out in a public laundromat for an hour is a pretty optional activity.
I got distracted by the garden for at least two weeks.  We did some plant shopping and picked up some of the spring plants we couldn't find last year. I can waste an entire day poking around online for plant options for the few empty spots we still have in the yard. I'll have my wish list ready for when life returns to normal.

I made us two DIY face masks out of batik for when I have to go out grocery shopping. I might make more, it was pretty easy.
I used this website as a starting point: How To Sew A Face Mask With Filter Pocket (NO ELASTIC!). I assembled mine differently because I thought they would look better with bias tape on the side edges. I basted in the pleats and then covered the side edges with bias tape and then I added the bias tape on the top and bottom.

I knocked out two quick cheater mug rugs for our tea cups. This was a scrap leftover from a panel project I did many years ago. I got two little potholder-size panels. I'm hoping to make at least two more mug rugs to call my WOOFA line item finished.
I did manage to cut out all the fabric for my living room reupholstery project and I sewed all of the side cushions. I had to order zippers for the back cushions and I'll be surprised if they arrive before the end of next month.
I stripped the old fabric and batting off the cushions. The foam was pretty gross and I really wanted to replace it. Had it been a little more convenient to buy new foam, I might have made the decision to pay more than $200 for clean foam, but I don't want these cushions sitting around until Portland reopens for business. The old batting was pretty filthy too and had to be replaced. It had been glued on, but I didn't have any spray adhesive so I decided to just wrap the new batting around to the back and staple it.

I'm planning to work on the seat cushion covers for FNwF (Friday Night with Friends) this coming Friday.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Trying to Enjoy Spring

With so much horribleness happening, I have found myself focusing my attention on our own little world. While being stuck at home is not a hardship for me—I've been acting like a hermit for several years—dealing with all the stress and inconvenience of grocery shopping is wearing on us.
Negrita Double Tulip and Purple Sensation Hyacinth
When Jeff retired he took over the cooking (he's a much better cook than I), and he also took over the grocery shopping. But I have temporarily taken over the grocery shopping again since Jeff is in a vulnerable group (he's had pneumonia so many times, I've lost count). I made a produce/dairy run this morning and stocked up on vegetables so we can continue in our efforts to eat healthy. 

It took way too long to clean all the food/produce before we put it away.


I had also pre-ordered a few plants from Xera Plants and picked them up as well. 
I picked up a Pacific Northwest native, Orange Honeysuckle (Lonicera ciliosa), to grow on a trellis on the wall. We were planning to build a trellis from cedar this year, but with the coronavirus making shopping so difficult, we're just going to jury-rig something from bamboo for this season.
The Camellia x williamsii ‘Night Rider’ has obviously died. I saw Shasta run over it last fall and I stood it back up and added the stakes, but it was obviously too late. When I found the Gordon's Currant (Ribes x gordonianum), I decided to change the plan. The little plants in the lower right are Sundrops (Oenothera fruticosa) that we were given by donaleen.
I am seriously in love with the Flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum) in the front yard.
The Flowering Maple (Callianthe megapotamica 'Variegatum') has started putting on flowers.
I've been out every day admiring all the beautiful plants waking up in the Hidden Garden.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

March Friday Night Sew In

I joined Wendy from Sugarlane Designs and others for the Friday Night Sew In again this month.
I decided to work on my long-neglected living room reupholstery project.  I spent Thursday cutting out all the necessary pieces and shortening metal zippers so I could jump right into the project.

I spent Friday night sewing together the first cushion and then ripping it out because the corners were bulging weird. Then I finally figured out the best way to sew it together and sewed it together again.
By then it was getting late. I decided to build the other five side cushions with an assembly line process and I started by assembling the zipper panels.

My Friday Night Sew In continued into a Saturday Sew In. On Saturday, I finished assembling the remaining five side cushions.
I still have the three back cushions to finish as well as recovering all the seats, but I hope I'll finish them before next month's sew in.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Our First Tulip

I believe this is an Apricot Foxx tulip from Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm. The plants next to it are Epimedium x warleyense that we picked up from Loen's Nursery during their summer clearance sale.

The hyacinths have also bloomed. To be honest, I'm surprised to see them this year. I honestly thought our backyard squirrel had eaten them because we kept finding holes dug in the planting bed after we'd planted all the bulbs.
Gipsy Queen Hyacinths
The hyacinths have been out for more than a week in the front yard parking strip.
These are called 'Purple Sensation' hyacinths. I bought them last year from
Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm but they don't appear to be available this year.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

This Time For Sure

Now that our moving plan is uncertain, I decided I want to go ahead and recover the living room furniture. I was looking back at my original posts and realized it's been almost exactly three years since I bought the replacement fabric. It's time to get this project done.
The original upholstery fabric I bought at Fabric Depot has not held up at all and it has only gotten worse. The new fabric is heavy-duty (exceeds 35,000 Double Rubs) and should wear better.
I spent two hours this morning planning the cutting layout to make sure the twelve yards I bought would be enough to cut out all the pieces with the fabric design running the same direction across all the pieces. I think I've got it figured out, so I'm going to start cutting the fabric tomorrow. I think I can make myself do it.

My hope is to start sewing everything together on Friday for this month's Friday Night Sew-In.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Using Up Pavers

Almost a month ago we discovered a bunch of really thick pavers that ran along the edge of the old driveway. Jeff dug them out and removed them and they sat only a few feet away until yesterday.
I asked Jeff if he would please make a little path of them from the stairs to the backyard shed. I was expecting him to just carry them over and plop them down and call it good. That's not how Jeff rolls.
He would have preferred to buy some gravel to level them, but I told him not to bother. I'm hoping to be able to plant groundcover around the stones. If necessary, we'll bring in some gravel later and re-lay them.
This concludes the path between the back door and shed. We can now, in theory, get from the house to the shed without stepping in mud.

I would still like to make a new step to get into the shed. I have a plan, but we haven't had the motivation to make it.
Oh, and this happened on Saturday. Our plants appear to have survived, but the daffodils all got flattened by the weight of the snow.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

I đź’ś Our Public Library

I moan about the City of Portland quite a lot. The city has many problems, the primary one being way too many homeless people. There are too frequent thefts of anything we leave outside. A few weeks ago one of them stole the cushion off the wicker loveseat on our front porch. I guess (s)he decided it would be more comfortable to sleep on a cushion than on the ground. We had a cement elephant statue on our front porch that used to belong to my grandmother, that was stolen too.

But despite the problems, I will happily admit they have a stellar library system. My reading list right now:
My attempt to start seeds has been less than successful. I haven't had a problem getting the seeds to sprout, my problem is getting them to grow beyond that point. I am clearly missing something. So I hit the library website and ordered some books. I was able to go pick them up yesterday.

Pre-internet, I was a voracious reader but since wireless computers and streaming TV, I just never got around to reading anything, despite owning thousands of books.

Last fall, Jeff and I decided to try an experiment. We turned off all the streaming TV channels; no more Hulu, no more Netflix. If we needed a movie fix, we could watch one of our DVDs. It was the first time in a few years we were able to focus on reading and writing without feeling the pull of TV.  And even though we turned on Disney+ in November and immediately watched through the Star Wars and Avengers saga, we have already turned it off. It's been satisfying for us to focus on something else.

Combining our extensive task lists in Habitica and the ability to download audiobooks directly on to our iPhones, Jeff and I have been listening to a TON of audiobooks. We listen to them when we're cleaning, exercising, gardening, sewing, whenever we don't have something too complicated to focus on.

Since the beginning of January, I have finished reading or listening to 49 books! 49 books. I am really enjoying this amazing service the library provides and it has cost us nothing additional beyond what we're already paying in taxes. I would encourage all of you to explore your library's audiobook offerings.

Friday, March 13, 2020

More Plant Additions

We have a bed in the backyard next to the patio where we just put in plants without any color scheme or plan. It's looking quite nice this time of year.
I'm really enjoying spring.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Flowers!

The beautiful spring weather keeps drawing me outside. I am really enjoying the yard this year.
Ribes sanguineum/Flowering red currant has exploded into flowers.
This is a native shrub we planted back in 2011 when we installed the rain garden.
Iris Lazica in the parking strip
Purple Sensation Hyacinth in the parking strip
Purple Crocus planted back in 2017. I'm pretty sure these were from Brecks.
We have several clumps of yellow trumpet daffodils. I believe we planted these more than 5 years ago.
I'm hoping to mark where the clumps are and dig them this fall and spread out the bulbs.
And I almost forgot the Camilla bush next to the driveway. Jeff pruned it way back last year because it was so dense it was shading most of the sun above the rain garden which was killing the bleeding hearts. He was worried he pruned it too much, but it looks happy.
Sadly, the Camilla bush we planted in the backyard looks like it died. I think one of the dogs had a close encounter with it. I'm planning to try rooting some cuttings from this bush to get an inexpensive replacement.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

February's Finishes

I made some progress on my WOOFA list this month. I blogged about most of them individually, but these are the other projects I haven't mentioned yet.

I made a set of napkins from a remnant of cotton brocade. I had originally planned to do a rolled edge on the serger, but I decided a hemmed edge would look more formal.
I finished another rag quilt. On one of our visits to Prineville, we dropped by their thrift store and I found this lovely printed flannel. It seemed like a good excuse to make another rag quilt. All the rest of these fabrics were pulled out of my rapidly depleting scrap bin.
It has already been snipped, but not washed because I'd prefer to take it to a laundromat. I don't want to risk our plumbing.
I assembled the denim circles and loaded them up with a bright novelty fabric and coordinating bright fabrics from my fabric wall.
At this point, I'm about halfway finished sewing down all the flaps. I'll likely get it done this week if we have the forecasted week of rain.

I found someone local to do the machine quilting on my batik quilts, but I've learned I need to make the border larger on the backing quilt so there's more excess fabric. It guess it's easier for them to install it on the frame.