It’s been bitter cold and snowy here, and altho we don’t have it near as bad as folks further north, I still don’t like it much! We’re finally gonna have a high temperature above 0 degrees today for the first time in days, even tho as I write this, it’s still only -4 out. But the sun is shining, which always helps my mood.
Here’s how we have to dress to go outside for chores:
I have to admit it’s beautiful, altho deadly, if you think about it. I’ve been so worried about my animals (and the furnace) that I’ve been having trouble sleeping, so I’ve kept my nose to the grindstone sewing away to help keep my mind off it. And I have sewn a LOT! And slept very little.
The goats have been laying pretty low in their barns, coming out only occasionally to snack on a bit of hay and go right back in. When they ARE out, they stand around shivering. Blossom wouldn’t even come out at all one morning, and I had to take her breakfast in bed, and fluff her nest for her. I’ve sure gone through the straw bales this past week, trying to keep them in extra bedding so they can burrow in and keep warm!
They’ve ventured out this morning into the sunshine, tho, and I’ve tried to tell them that better days are finally coming soon. You can see Ranger at the bottom left of the big bale — he’s massively huge and this year even the hair around his neck got all wooly and curly. I’ll have to take a picture of it — it looks so funny and he’s never done that before. He is one of the least affected by the cold, simply because he’s so fat and wooly!
The cold doesn’t bother the sheep at all — I mean, after all, they’re wearing the best possible wool coats, right?
So . . .
Do you wanna see some of what I’ve been working on?
I’m adding the next log to my Temecula Quilt Company Down Home Darling Log Cabin quilt (that’s a mouthful!):
I finished my I Heart You quilt top:
I’ll be quilting it hopefully this weekend, since I have a recipient in mind and want to gift it soon. I have a pantograph with hearts that I will quilt on it. Here’s what I chose for the backing:
I follow Amanda @a.crafty.fox on Instagram, and she’s been posting about her Irish Chain quilt called Limerick, and she’s starting a sew-along for it. As I was cleaning up my gigantic pile that I challenged myself with in my last post, I came across an entire bin of green fabrics that I had pulled for something — something that I no longer have any intention of making.
It hit me that they were perfect for the Limerick quilt, and if I used them up, I wouldn’t have to try to find room for them back in my stash! So I pulled some low-volumes to go with them, purchased the pattern, and I’m ready to go! Cutting starts this Friday, so it’s not too late for you to join in on this one, if you want. Find the info HERE.
What? Doesn’t cleaning make YOU start new projects, too? In my defense, I’ve already finished one quilt top from the pile, and hope to finish a couple more tops from that pile before the month is over. Let’s not talk about how large my to-be-quilted pile is getting.
Amanda’s also having a read-along to go along with the sew-along, and I even bought the Kindle version of the book, and I’m ready to start on that, too!
I’ve been using 9-patches as my leader/ender pieces for most of the sewing I’ve been doing, and I completed an entire set for a comfort quilt I’ll be donating to my guild. I’m playing with the layout and will soon set them together (the lower right section is too dark — I need to do some rearranging):
I also made quite a few more blocks for my Wild 9-Patch quilt. I need 360, and I don’t think I’m anywhere close to that number yet!
Since it’s only been 60 degrees in our house, with a windchill of 48, (haha — but also true) I’ve been spending a lot of time in my cozy chair with a blankie and hot tea, doing hand sewing, so I dug out my Daredevils blocks again, and hope to finish those up. This is Block 5:
Now, if I can just remember where I stashed Blocks 1-4 before I get done piecing Block 12, I’ll be doing good!
And I’ve still been cleaning and organizing. I try to organize some little something every day.
Last week, I picked up a bag of vintage fabric scraps, planning to just put them away where they belong, and when I started sorting them, I discovered that they were actually cut pieces for blocks! So I quick sewed one together to see how it would work, and this is what I came up with:
There are enough pieces for about 35 blocks, if I add a bit of background fabric, so I think I’m gonna keep going so I can use them up. My background fabric doesn’t match the vintage stuff, but I’m OK with that — I’ll call it “adding some charm”!
And yesterday, I pulled out a tote bag with knitting stuff in it. It contained a half-finished scarf, and the yarn for the border of an afghan I finished the center of years ago.
This afghan, knit way back when I used to knit fancier things, has been languishing for years, needing only the border. I have procrastinated because I don’t care for the knitted border the pattern calls for. So I pulled it out, decided to add a much simpler crocheted border to it, and got it all reorganized so I can finally finish it up. (I ditched the scarf project altogether, and put the yarn in the give-away box.) That sure felt good.
I’m on a serious mission to finish up and use up stuff from this studio, faster and faster than I have been. The more organized I get, the more organized I want to be! I’m taking that as a good thing.
I’m not a bit worried about having started so many new projects this year, because it’s using up stuff I don’t want to put back in my stash, and it helps keep things interesting for me. And, I’m finishing nearly as many things as I start (I’ll show you some of those soon), so hopefully my UFO list won’t grow too much. If I could just find time to quilt a few of my own quilts!
It’s obvious that a few “extra” things have crept back on to my cutting table:
But I’m serious about my new rules for it, so I’m giving myself this week to get it back under control. Some of these things are so close to finished that they will soon be gone, and I can clean up again.
So that’s how I’ve been spending my hibernation. Have you been trapped inside and getting lots of sewing done? I hope your weather is being kinder to you than ours is.