Thursday, April 30, 2020

April's WOOFA Finishes

April was not a good month for me. I spent half of it hanging out in the basement because I caught a cold and I didn't want to spread it to Jeff, just in case it was coronavirus. The isolation crashed my momentum for reupholstering the living room furniture in April. When my life recovered, I had a hard time picking up the project again.

Finally, I decided to shift gears to work on smaller, quicker projects. I spent a couple days making a pile of fabric face masks to give away to friends. I didn't have them all finished at once, so I didn't take a picture of the pile of them.

Then I spent four days making two dresses for Jeff's stuffed animal.
Then I spent a few days making placemats.
I plan to pick up the upholstery project again and finish it in May. I'm tired of my living room being a disaster.

Here's the status of my WOOFA list to date
Bind Dinosaur Lap Quilt
 (when returned from quilter)
Bind Batik Quilt (when returned from quilter)
Canvas Bag Repair (replace handles)
Denim Circle Quilt
Denim Circle Tote Bag
Halloween Monster Wreath (started)
Harvest Placemats
Harvest Quilt
Jeff’s Georgian Coat
Jeff’s Lumbar Pillow
Log Cabin Quilt (started decades ago)
Louisa’s Dress Batik
Louisa’s Dress Y-P
Louisa’s Dress: Remodel sq. dance skirt to Louisa Dress
Mug Rugs (started)
Navy/Gold Placemats
Rag Quilt Floral Y-G-R-P
Rag Quilt Grey
Rag Quilt Solar System
Rag Quilt Xmas
Recover Living Room Furniture
Sea Swept Quilt
Sharon’s Lumbar Pillow
Square Dance Skirt (elastic, eyelet)
Stack & Whack Quilt
Stenciled Pillow (panel stenciled already)
Summer Placemats
Tie Large Disaster Quilt (or just ditch it)
Tie/Quilt Scrap Lap Quilt
White Brocade Napkins
Woven Denim Tote Bag
Xmas Placemats
Xmas Quilt

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Yard Photos

I'm not really sure what happened to my last flower post but the photos all just stopped working. I haven't deleted any photos from google, so I'm not sure what happened. I took down the post because it didn't make much sense to leave it up with all the photos missing. I'll try again and see if it sticks better.

It's been raining for most of the past week which has been great for our starts, but not so good for our apple blossoms. I guess we'll have a lousy apple crop again this year.
Tequila Sunrise Columbine/Aquilegia skinneri 'Tequila Sunrise'
Iris 'Aggressively Forward'
This plant is a volunteer; I would not have planted it in the same spot
as a Hellebore. I think it's a Celandine Poppy. We may try and figure out
how to dig it out later this summer and move it to a better spot.
Pacific Iris 'Geoff's'
Corydalis 'Canary Feathers'
Bleeding Heart 'Valentine'/Dicentra spectabilis 'Valentine'
Heuchera villosa 'Caramel'
This rhododendron was in the front yard when we moved in. I'm embarrassed to admit I had no idea what color the flowers were until this week. I don't know what variety it is.
This is the Forever Purple Heuchera in the front planting strip. I'm not loving the ground cover surrounding it. The Ajuga reptans 'Catlin's Giant' is being way too aggressive and is crowding out the columbine and corydalis we also put in. I need to rethink whether we want to leave it in this bed.
The wisteria is about to be beautiful.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Louisa's Dresses

I gave Jeff a stuffed dog when he left for college back in the 1980s. He named her Louisa. After I started making quilts, I got in the habit of occasionally making dresses for her that match the quilts I've made. The last outfit I finished was in May 2012.

In January 2010, I finished a quilt Jeff designed for me, shortly before we moved to Oregon and I never had a chance to make a matching dress, though I had planned to.
Finally, this past week, I decided to make the matching dress.
It includes a lavender slip and dark purple bloomers.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Making Placemats

I decided I wanted to make some placemats and I designed a bunch of options. Jeff picked the first one I would make. This was the original design.
I followed the directions and cut it out as instructed, but they didn't turn out right. Some of the pieces were too long and that should have been my first clue. I should have ditched it right then and gone down to my Electric Quilt program to figure out what was going on. But I kept sewing...
It turns out when I originally printed out the block cutting instructions I set the size of the block wrong. Again. Sigh.

From now on I clearly need to be more obsessive about double-checking each block when I print it. Electric Quilt disconnects the quilt design from the block design and when you print out a block it retains the size of the last block you printed which obviously isn't necessarily the correct size. I need to be more careful about checking the block size in each quilt design before I print it.

I could probably just use these pieced panels as they are, but I'm such a perfectionist it will bother me that they're skewed. So, I'll likely try again. I hope I have enough of the navy fabric left so I don't have to tear these apart.

Here are some options for the next round.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Pandemic Playlist

One of the things I did while I was trapped down in the basement was to put together a Youtube playlist made up of an absolute ton of really good songs posted about the Coronavirus. Some of them are professionals, but many are not. Enjoy.

Coronavirus Pandemic Playlist

I have a bunch of stuff to post to the blog but I've gotten a little flaky again. I've got a couple posts drafted. I'll try to finish them soon.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Isolating Myself

I came down with a mild cold. I don't know if it's coronavirus or a standard run-of-the-mill cold, but I have been isolating myself from Jeff for most of the past week. I set aside any projects that involved going out into the common areas, such as recovering the living room furniture, until I am fully recovered.

Quite a lot of my productivity has gone bust until further notice. I spent a few hours working on small sewing projects but I haven't finished any of them yet. I get derailed very easily right now.

I recovered the seats for the patio chairs but I've been waiting for an order of dust cover fabric before we screw them onto the seat frames. Since I ordered it nearly three weeks ago and haven't heard a peep about a shipment date, who knows when it will arrive. If it's not here by the end of April I will just attach them without covering the underside. I am looking forward to being able to eat at the table this summer.
I have greatly enjoyed our remodeled backyard. I'm glad we fixed it up last year. I have spent quite a lot of time this past week of isolation hanging out watching the mason bees and admiring the flowers.
The plants around the outer edge are calendula starts we planted.
Though I haven't had great success with my seed starts, we did plant out a tray of them today. They are mostly annual flowers. Hopefully, they'll make it and we'll have some lovely flowers later this summer.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

This Week's Pretties

Our weather has turned warm and the rest of the tulips opened up this week.
These are supposed to be Blushing Apeldoorn tulips I ordered, but they
look quite a bit different from the sales photo. They are still pretty.
The Heuchera x villosa Caramel has quite exceeded my expectations.
The flowering maple (Callianthe megapotamica 'Variegatum') is covered with tiny red flowers.
The English Daisy (Bellis perennis Super Enorma Red) has some unauthorized white and pink flowers. LOL
Thanks to a friend, we have mason bees this year. 
The Negrita Double Tulips all opened this week.
Our Scarlet Sentinel Columnar Apple Tree has burst into blossoms.
We picked up this little Wulfenia x schwarzii on a whim last year and it's quite nice.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Secret Garden Growers

Anyone who has followed our blog for a while knows that I obsess about things. My latest obsession was about a silly evergreen maidenhair fern, the Adiantum x tracyi. I've been looking for them at our local nurseries since January when I realized how pretty they looked over the winter.

I found them online a while ago at a nursery in Canby, Secret Garden Growers, but I successfully talked myself out of driving there. But on Friday, when they advertised a 10% off sale at their Facebook page, I could no longer resist. And I figured I may as well go to the grocery store too.
It was a nice little nursery. I bought a few more plants beside the Tracy's Maidenhair ferns. Plus, I bought another Ribes x gordonianum, this one a 2-year old plant and MUCH bigger (and nearly the same price as the little one). I wish I'd found it before I bought the little one, but I did not.
This larger plant has the advantage of being more likely to survive the ravages of our dog children. We put the smaller plant in the front yard where the girls are less likely to stumble over it.

I need to be done plant shopping now, at least until it's safer to venture outside of the house again.

Friday Night with Friends Fail

My project for Friday Night was to finish one of the cushions for my Living Room Reupholstery Project. I looked over the old covers and tried to sew the cushion the same, but it has weird puckers on the corners.
The original covers weren't snipped and they looked fine, so I'm reluctant to cut them more than I already have. I'm worried if I deeply snip them they'll eventually rip out at the corners with use. Perhaps the difference is the old fabric was much lighter-weight.

I tried stretching it out tightly to see if it would look better once I've stapled it on, but I don't believe it will. So, I'm debating tearing it all the way apart and reducing the width of the seams.

Anyway, by the time I got to this point, I was frustrated and ill-equipped mentally to take on the trouble-shooting so I called it quits after a short night. This is a difficult project for me, but I am determined to figure it out. I just need a bit more time to figure out the solution.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Bareroot Bleeding Hearts

In January, I placed an order from Easy to Grow Bulbs for bareroot bleeding hearts and a few other flowers. The order finally came today.

I placed the order primarily because I found they were carrying yellow bleeding hearts and I really wanted them. I ordered two of them. Out of the package, they looked pretty sad. There was no sign of life, but I soaked them for an hour and then planted them. I'm crossing my fingers they make it.
The white bleeding hearts looked considerably better. The roots looked bigger and healthier and they both had a bit of new growth at the crown.
Even though it was raining today, I got all the plants in the ground and I'll be watching for any signs of life in the coming weeks. I really hope they make it.