Misc The September 2019 Orchard Side Chat!

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
This will be the chat thread for the month of September! I decided doing a weekly thread would clutter up this room and I didn't want that to happen.

The temps here are gorgeous, fall has arrived early here in central Iowa this year there's a tinge of red on the sugar maple leaves.
 

Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Got the first pear off of my tree in my AO. It was a little hard and pithy but to be expected from a canning pear. My carambola (star fruit) is blooming like a lunatic. That's probably all I will get this month.
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
I have no idea where the pattern is for this pair of socks, I need to finish the toe on the one and it's done. I used to have the pattern memorized.
 

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packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
Got the first pear off of my tree in my AO. It was a little hard and pithy but to be expected from a canning pear. My carambola (star fruit) is blooming like a lunatic. That's probably all I will get this month.
I love canning pears, they cook up so beautifully! Do you have any crafts going on at the moment?
 

marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB
September plans: About to start cutting fabric for my grandson's birthday quilt. He will be 11. It is a panel of baseball figures that will be cut into squares with half square triangle points to form stars. Colors are blue and cream with a border that has a navy back with baseballs scattered on it.

Have caught up on my stitch with rulers for 365 day project. Almost have 100 finished.

Didn't get to the Dream Big Dahlia. It will have to wait as I will be starting a Halloween wall hanging panel. It has a cute witch on it.

I did get materials for 2 messenger/computer quilted bags to go with the other bags for Christmas. I also got some note books to make quilted covers for for Christmas gifts.
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
Marsh totally get it on waiting on projects! I’ll have to wait on finishing the socks until I can dig up the patterns. Until then I’m making texture free washcloths for washing my face, skin issues. Easier said than done!
 

Faroe

Veteran Member
Waiting on two quilts, one for more suitable fabric, and the other for a match on quilting thread (that Irish chain that was started ten years ago). You would think an off white wouldn't be hard to match, but I can't seem to order anything even close. The last Gutterman spool that came in looked more like a butter yellow. The computer monitor isn't helping, I've had to order by description.

Anyway, spent the evening practicing needle turn applique while watching Yoko Saito videos. She basically just cuts and sews; she doesn't mess around much with measuring, marking, templates, irons, glues, freezer paper, painted on starch, etc. My practice piece ended up as a free-form many petaled flower, and is NOT technically great - some peaks with underneath folds, even though I thought I had everything smoothed out into clean curves at the time. Well, at least it is pretty. Hard to stick to a pre-drawn design - I tend to change my mind as I go. More practice needed.

Here is link to one of the videos. 6:53 min. run time. I'd also suggest you look up her log cabin block video. That one is good too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9UFMqj9cWc
 

AlaskaSue

North to the Future
Summer is over here, for real. All the leaves are golden and falling and I've got to get my garden put away. I'm packing up for an extended visit to my son and family down near Tampa, probably thru New Year's, so a lot of prep happening for that as I'm also trying to get a couple rooms painted and make sure my sewing corner is secured!

My first attempt to grow pinto beans was a total success but alas, I can't finish the job as I'll have to have my brother pull them after I depart. Same with the brussels sprouts, they look awesome. Only other things left are some onions, cabbages, beets (some of which I could have entered in the Fair), potatoes, and my herbs. Plan for preserving is canning and drying - and gifting!

I had gifted my DDIL a sewing machine last year and will bring down a couple of dress patterns all cut out and ready so my grandgirls can do a bit of sewing. Have to bring some yarn too; time for them to learn basic knitting - though as hot as it is down there now it will have to wait a bit; I plan to spend a lot of time with them in the pool!
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
Summer is over here, for real. All the leaves are golden and falling and I've got to get my garden put away. I'm packing up for an extended visit to my son and family down near Tampa, probably thru New Year's, so a lot of prep happening for that as I'm also trying to get a couple rooms painted and make sure my sewing corner is secured!

My first attempt to grow pinto beans was a total success but alas, I can't finish the job as I'll have to have my brother pull them after I depart. Same with the brussels sprouts, they look awesome. Only other things left are some onions, cabbages, beets (some of which I could have entered in the Fair), potatoes, and my herbs. Plan for preserving is canning and drying - and gifting!

I had gifted my DDIL a sewing machine last year and will bring down a couple of dress patterns all cut out and ready so my grandgirls can do a bit of sewing. Have to bring some yarn too; time for them to learn basic knitting - though as hot as it is down there now it will have to wait a bit; I plan to spend a lot of time with them in the pool!
That's great that you're going to sew with your granddaughters! That's the one thing I remember about my grandmother and great grandmother was them teaching me how to sew and to crochet. My aunt taught me how to embroider and do other needle arts and my maternal grandmother tried to teach me how to knit but that was a failure. It wasn't until I had a friend from Denmark who taught me how to knit the european way that I was able to successfully learn how to knit, which is the best method if you're a southpaw.

How soon do you leave for Florida?
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
Lovely socks!

My Native Elder friend that lost everything in the Paradise Fire just told me what he really needs is a lap-sized throw or blanket, he's sharing an apartment with about 5 other guys who also lost everything.

So, my next project once I finish my current "Easy Hat" (this time a team knit in the round) I'll dig through my wool-acrylic blend yarn (so he can wash it easily), also he's not in the mountains right now (I don't think) so it gets cold but not the super-cold and snow they got sometimes on the mountainside.

His colors are red, white and blue with a bit of yellow (he was born on the Fourth of July) that's the color pattern I made his dancing socks, vests, trims and laces that he lost in the fire; but at nearly 80 I gather a warm lap blanket is more appealing than things for his "traditionals."

We can work on those next Summer if he's up to it...so many projects and not enough time lol
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
Lovely socks!

My Native Elder friend that lost everything in the Paradise Fire just told me what he really needs is a lap-sized throw or blanket, he's sharing an apartment with about 5 other guys who also lost everything.

So, my next project once I finish my current "Easy Hat" (this time a team knit in the round) I'll dig through my wool-acrylic blend yarn (so he can wash it easily), also he's not in the mountains right now (I don't think) so it gets cold but not the super-cold and snow they got sometimes on the mountainside.

His colors are red, white and blue with a bit of yellow (he was born on the Fourth of July) that's the color pattern I made his dancing socks, vests, trims and laces that he lost in the fire; but at nearly 80 I gather a warm lap blanket is more appealing than things for his "traditionals."

We can work on those next Summer if he's up to it...so many projects and not enough time lol
Thank you, and that is very kind of you to do this for your friend. Maybe incorporate some of his colors into the blanket.
 

Faroe

Veteran Member
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=743jVgP4Mi4&t=388s

Run time about 18 min.
I posted this yesterday, but it didn't post.
Anyway, just a demo of some pretty floral white work embroidery with music (annoyingly repetitive music, you may just decide to watch w/o sound.)

I would like to do something similar in white floss on unbleached linen. No color decisions. I like that.
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=743jVgP4Mi4&t=388s

Run time about 18 min.
I posted this yesterday, but it didn't post.
Anyway, just a demo of some pretty floral white work embroidery with music (annoyingly repetitive music, you may just decide to watch w/o sound.)

I would like to do something similar in white floss on unbleached linen. No color decisions. I like that.
You would probably enjoy redwork embroidery or blackwork embroidery then, it can be very meditative. And that music is very annoying!
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
A couple of links, I think I shared with you last month that a couple of my friends are participating in the 2020 Crazy Quilt Challenge, they're making their own tatted lace, beaded embellishments, and the like.

Jill Wiseman beading tutorials for making beaded motifs for stitching to quilts, garments, etc. she's got a ton of them!
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=jill+wiseman+tutorials

I'm not participating in the challenge, but I may make a few blocks!
https://pintangle.com/2020-crazy-quilt-guidelines/

My friend made hers in the shape of hexies, 9 inches on each side. I may make one block for kicks and giggles, it'd be a great way to use up some of my silk velvets and silk fabrics.
 

Faroe

Veteran Member
I love the Pintangle site! Excellent stitch dictionary. I want to work my way through learning many of those stitches. One of the few people whose stitch instructions I can actually understand. Her book is on my Wish List.

My green fabrics arrived. I'm not into color, but they are so pretty. I had the freshly laundered fabrics in the same stack with some blue and white nine-patch blocks that needed pressing. The dull greens actually go really well with the dark blues, I can imagine a leafy green applique border around the center nine patch blocks. If I can just settle on a style (simplified stencil-like folk? a graceful arabesque 18th century sort of style as in Kemball's book? or an Edina Sitar modern twiggy style? or perhaps a more naturalistic drafting?)...again, if I can settle on a style - endless choices, that is always the problem.
 

Faroe

Veteran Member
Back-basting applique, and front basting applique, and sewn on direct applique:

Stems seem to go on easier if they are just sewn on from the front, but I had a bunch of tiny circles in a cluster, and I chose a back baste for that. Used one intact scrap of fabric for most of the cluster (cut them after they were basted from the back), and later added a few circles that had been too close to others to allow for any seam allowance. I like this method better than basting around pre-cut circle and drawing the seam allowance in, under, and pressing flat before attatching. The florals also seem to come together better when the stem is sewn down first, even if some leaves tuck in behind. I've found it hard to sew down the stem exactly in the correct place. They seem to meander a bit on their own.

Because I've been working from both sides, I had to mark the motif on both sides of the base fabric. Although I have't run across anyone who advocates doing so, I think the work progresses much more smoothly if the design is visible on both sides - aids in precision. The scrap of linen I'm practicing with is a PITA to draw lines on. Am using a water soluble marker, but should have spray starched it beforehand (although that would have required dragging out the iron). I rigged an old window pane over a desk lamp set on the floor for a light box. That set-up will need considerable improvement if I decide to do more of this.

Started out today with a copy of part of a design from Kemball's book. One leaf ended up floating in space away from the stem. Actually, nothing at all turned out good. I think a First Grader could have done better. Results improved after sketching out my own design (or, at least there was nothing better to compare it to). Very time consuming way to decorate fabric, but I like the way it looks.
 
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Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB
I love canning pears, they cook up so beautifully! Do you have any crafts going on at the moment?
Crafts? I got a couple of old linen table cloths from an estate sale and I'm rehabbing them. Kinda my thing. Buy old and just repair and make daily usable. Plus I redoing the house for Autumn which means making table center pieces out of my various collections. I'm taking all of our pictures from our Alaska trip and I'm going to make a scrapbook for my mom. And a couple of friends asked for help with their genealogy. And then there is the writing and the business and … and … and ….

LOL

Too many irons in the fire. Not to mention two sick adult kids that caught whatever respiratory thing we brought home from AK. I am seriously hoping my son doesn't test positive for Flu as it was he that had to do most of the heavy lifting (literally) when we had to EMT my dad to the hospital. Life is freaking crazy right now.
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
Crafts? I got a couple of old linen table cloths from an estate sale and I'm rehabbing them. Kinda my thing. Buy old and just repair and make daily usable. Plus I redoing the house for Autumn which means making table center pieces out of my various collections. I'm taking all of our pictures from our Alaska trip and I'm going to make a scrapbook for my mom. And a couple of friends asked for help with their genealogy. And then there is the writing and the business and … and … and ….

LOL

Too many irons in the fire. Not to mention two sick adult kids that caught whatever respiratory thing we brought home from AK. I am seriously hoping my son doesn't test positive for Flu as it was he that had to do most of the heavy lifting (literally) when we had to EMT my dad to the hospital. Life is freaking crazy right now.
Influenza B is making the rounds and early this year.
 

Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Summer is over here, for real. All the leaves are golden and falling and I've got to get my garden put away. I'm packing up for an extended visit to my son and family down near Tampa, probably thru New Year's, so a lot of prep happening for that as I'm also trying to get a couple rooms painted and make sure my sewing corner is secured!

My first attempt to grow pinto beans was a total success but alas, I can't finish the job as I'll have to have my brother pull them after I depart. Same with the brussels sprouts, they look awesome. Only other things left are some onions, cabbages, beets (some of which I could have entered in the Fair), potatoes, and my herbs. Plan for preserving is canning and drying - and gifting!

I had gifted my DDIL a sewing machine last year and will bring down a couple of dress patterns all cut out and ready so my grandgirls can do a bit of sewing. Have to bring some yarn too; time for them to learn basic knitting - though as hot as it is down there now it will have to wait a bit; I plan to spend a lot of time with them in the pool!
Give a holler when you get down here!

We got whipsawed by AK's weird summer weather … warm enough to wear shorts most of the time, got to Denali and woke up to 27 degrees! But no mosquitos which was lovely.

My parents were in awe of the size of the vegetables being grown in AK. The cabbages were the size of a baby grizzly. Huge! Oh my goodness. One head would have been more than enough for a year's supply of sauerkraut!
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
Scored one of those huge bakery racks from the local grocery store this afternoon! After I get it powerwashed I'm going to have OC cut me some plywood shelves and use it in my studio next to my easel to hold paints and the like while I'm working at the easel! Got my crew organized for October we're going to bail my office out and set up my looms, spinning wheel, etc. so I'll finally have a loom room! I'll have all of my carding, knitting, and crochet equipment and supplies in there as well.
 

Illini Warrior

Veteran Member
Scored one of those huge bakery racks from the local grocery store this afternoon! After I get it powerwashed I'm going to have OC cut me some plywood shelves and use it in my studio next to my easel to hold paints and the like while I'm working at the easel! Got my crew organized for October we're going to bail my office out and set up my looms, spinning wheel, etc. so I'll finally have a loom room! I'll have all of my carding, knitting, and crochet equipment and supplies in there as well.

if you need to buy that plywood for those paint supply shelves - might want to look at discounted paneling instead - the thinner profile & tempered hardboard backing make great shelf liners - good for workbench lining also ...
 

Faroe

Veteran Member
We keep everything in plastic bins, from plastic shoe boxes and sweater boxes on up in size. This includes all of our books on shelves. I just label the outside of the box. Keeps dust off everything, and when we finally move, most things will already be boxed. Our dollar store sells the shoe boxes for a dollar each, and WM sells the rectangular pastry buckets for a dollar each. Those are very sturdy, and just need a good cleaning.

good score on the baker's racks. I could use about twenty of those, and I esp. want one I can hang florescent lights from to grow plants on.
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
We keep everything in plastic bins, from plastic shoe boxes and sweater boxes on up in size. This includes all of our books on shelves. I just label the outside of the box. Keeps dust off everything, and when we finally move, most things will already be boxed. Our dollar store sells the shoe boxes for a dollar each, and WM sells the rectangular pastry buckets for a dollar each. Those are very sturdy, and just need a good cleaning.

good score on the baker's racks. I could use about twenty of those, and I esp. want one I can hang florescent lights from to grow plants on.
Hmmm never thought to use it for growing plants!
 

Faroe

Veteran Member
I'd like to see if I can over-winter some cut tomatoe slips in hydroponic solution. Also have a new viv build in the planning stage, and will need as supply of tropical low-light house plants for it. Easier to order them while the weather is still good, and keep them on supply until ready. Space is my biggest issue - several things have to come in for the Winter from our huge front porch, inc. one huge Monstera that tries to take up an entire room.

Waiting on the arrival of a light board (just broke down and bought one - was in budget, and will be easy to store.) What sold me, was that it has a thin profile, and the light intensity can be adjusted. I can work with it directly on my lap. Been sewing more nine-patches in pretty blues and off-whites. Also found a good surface quilting thread match for the old quilt, so that is proceeding again.
 
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marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Have completed the quilt top for my grandson and will pin baste today (I lightly spray and pin baste.) Then I need to stabilize with a walking foot in stitch in the ditch grid and remove the pins. Then I can have some fun! Ruler work in the large squares and outlining the triangle points and an all-over rainbow effect with occasional spirals.

I think I will outline the figures but not sure what I will do around them. Stippling?
 

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summerthyme

Administrator
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Nice work, Marsh! He'll love it.

I need to get busy sewing as soon as the outside work is done. Because their house burned, bith little granddaughters need quilts... they were able to salvage the baby quilt I made for the oldest one, but I don't think the smoke staining will ever come out, and it's going to take months before the odor fades. But she's going to be in a toddler bed anyway, and that quilt was 48"x60"... she needs a twin size now.

Plus, our long time hired man's (he worked for us from the age of 13 until he went off to college, and we still work together occasionally) wife is expecting a baby in December, and I know I'll get a shower invitation. So, that's quilt #3 for the winter...

I think it's going to be a busy year!

Summerthyme
 

Seeker22

Veteran Member
We keep everything in plastic bins, from plastic shoe boxes and sweater boxes on up in size. This includes all of our books on shelves. I just label the outside of the box. Keeps dust off everything, and when we finally move, most things will already be boxed. Our dollar store sells the shoe boxes for a dollar each, and WM sells the rectangular pastry buckets for a dollar each. Those are very sturdy, and just need a good cleaning.

good score on the baker's racks. I could use about twenty of those, and I esp. want one I can hang florescent lights from to grow plants on.
I too am doing the tote thing. That is the only way to keep dirt, dustbunnies and dog hair off of everything I own. I am used to a huge house with tons of closet space. This little Cabin has been an adjustment, but I love it out here. When we finally get the shelves and closets built, I will be much happier. If you ever build a house, do not live in it until it is complete. Yeah, I know- we didn't have much of a choice, either.
 

Faroe

Veteran Member
Pending Hexie Crisis

Despite regular supply, once again, I'm running out of the damn things. Started cutting them up for stars, but since one hexie can make two diamonds cut cross wise, three hexies are needed for one star - assuming all the cuts come out exact. Sometimes the cardstock slips, and I have to re-cut with a new piece.

The blue print stars (some fussy-cut) look pretty strewn across a hexagon background of off-white subtle prints. Because this pattern take little thought, I ended up making and sewing up lots of pieces. I also have hexagon sheets of blue florals (which I sort of got tired of), and stacks of others I'm not sure how I want to use.

I was ordering Dritz hexagons, and they are ok, but Amazon doesn't carry the matching size in diamonds, and they have been taking forever and a day lately to ship anyway. Going to try paper pieces.com. Fortunately, it is already the middle of the month, and the budget can accommodate a small order. Fingers crossed they carry SewLine glue stick refills too. I like to sew baste hexies, but I get better results glue-basting the long diamond points.

I hate withdrawal.
 

Faroe

Veteran Member
Faroe, can you snap a photo? I am dying to see them.
Thanks, Marsh, but I don't have any way to take pictures. BTW, love the added baseball stitching on your quilt.

PaperPieces.com product review: The Dritz pieces are much nicer. Dritz uses a heavier paper stock, and it has a smoother coating. In contrast, the PaperPieces diamonds looked like they were cut on a machine with a dull blade. The edges aren't clean, and points had little tags on them. Not sure why these are presented as if they were the Industry Standard on You Tube. I can cut better ones!. Will try Sue Daley's pieces next, they aren't all that much more expensive. Otherwise, I'll try to source the correct size diamonds (and other shapes) again from Dritz. The Paper Pieces.com order came nicely packaged, and I really wanted to like them, but I don't at all.
 
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packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
Thanks, Marsh, but I don't have any way to take pictures. BTW, love the added baseball stitching on your quilt.

PaperPieces.com product review: The Dritz pieces are much nicer. Dritz uses a heavier paper stock, and it has a smoother coating. In contrast, the PaperPieces diamonds looked like they were cut on a machine with a dull blade. The edges aren't clean, and points had little tags on them. Not sure why these are presented as if they were the Industry Standard on You Tube. I can cut better ones!. Will try Sue Daley's pieces next, they aren't all that much more expensive. Otherwise, I'll try to source the correct size diamonds (and other shapes) again from Dritz. The Paper Pieces.com order came nicely packaged, and I really wanted to like them, but I don't at all.

Do you own a cricut or a silhouette cameo by chance? If so buy card stock and create your own hexies and diamonds, it would be much cheaper to do so! I need to scan in my crazy square blocks and cut them out with my Silhouette Cameo. No templates needed. I have both heavy card stock for the individual pieces and heavy mylar to make the stencils.


https://cricut.com/en_us/
https://www.silhouetteamerica.com/

I cut fabric, a myriad of stencils, paper, etc. with mine... worth every penny!
 

marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB
The video gets me to thinking about the difference between art and craft. There are so many levels in quilting: thread painting; landscape quilts, watercolor quilts; collage; portrait; paint; embellishment/embroidery; reverse quilting where you cut out pieces/holes and quilt an underlying fabric into it; stained glass; dyeing fabric - so many different ideas. Lots of room to grow.
 

Faroe

Veteran Member
The knitting on the neck gaitor (cowl) is finally done. Pattern by Turin56, Twisted Stitch Columns Cowl. Free pattern for anyone still on Ravelry. I found and printed a copy a few months ago, before the purge.

Easy, good looking, and highly recommended. If you are looking for a website or FB page, he apparently also goes by 56Stitches.

I loved the yarn (John Arbon Knit by Numbers DK Merino in a lovely steely grey), but it IS slippery and splitty. I split more stitches than I care to admit to, and couldn't always fix everything perfectly when one of the three plies slipped down into obscurity. None of that shows, however. Looks perfect.

This project SHOULD have been finished months ago, but Merino in Summer heat is not pleasant, and I've had continuous hot flashes the entire time. Anyway, I'll sew in the ends this evening, and present it to it's patiently waiting owner later tonight.
 
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kyrsyan

Veteran Member
I'm cleaning house. That includes the craft supplies. And the homeschool supplies. I've already done one full van load to the thrift and am halfway to another.
A good local nursery is doing a 50% off end of season herb sale. I seriously splurged. And then spent this morning getting half of them into larger pots. They'll stay in those pots, under a frost cover, until spring. In spring I will be making a new herb bed. But this will also let me restore the old one. And I finally decided that I'm going to drop spearmint in the ground underneath the blueberry bushes. It should do fine as a ground cover there.
 

marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB
I went to a quilt show today in the mountains in Sonora CA. It was a great event with loads of quilts. My son-in laws cousins 93) are all quilters who belong to the guild. I am inspired!
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
Working on about my fifth had and the first one in the round for some time - Nightwolf hinting he really wanted them to help deal with his hair loss (he's not up to shaving his head yet) so I took the hint and they've been great projects for the Summer.

It is cooling down now, so when I finish the next hat I may look at steeking and getting the sleeves done on the "cat pee" sweater - it actually smells OK after three months in a different bag and up in the cat free textile room under construction. So as I was hoping it was probably the bag that got sprayed and not the sweater itself (or if a drop or two landed it is gone enough now I can work on it and wash the entire sweater at once).

It is so pretty I'm not sure Nightwolf is going to get it (lol) I may just also try to finish the "Sweater of Way Too Many Cables" I was working on about 6 years ago and got frustrated with it and put it away in a box.

I couldn't face it as warm as it was this Summer, but it can figure out the neck and then just do sleeves with ONE big cable down the top (rather than a dozen) he may actually get to wear it.

I've also got my spinning wheel repair kit now so I can fix my old Traveler wheel, hopefully by next weekend.

Oh and cool feedback: Yesterday I showing tablet weaving to a Newbie "event" at the SCA and a longer-term member came up and showed me all the photos of things her sister in the US was making.

Her sister was visiting at an event two months ago were at the last minute I threw in an inkle loom and some cards and I had shown her how it worked - the sister has now gone home and is miles ahead of me doing complex and difficult patterns, some of which she is writing herself!

It made me realize just how much we can influence people in learning creative and possibly survival-oriented skills (little babies were known to die in the Great Depression without hand knits to keep them warm) even when we are not seriously "teaching" just introducing something.
 

Faroe

Veteran Member
Now that I have the Merino off my needles, my fingers have been *itching* for some "real" wool. Marie Wallin's kit for Fair Isle mitts in Jaimeson Shetland lies untouched, so might get started with that one later today.

Other than that, been sewing nine-patch blocks. Can't always seem to get the fabric combinations the way I want them. Have a big stack of completed blocks, but many are not quite what I want. Fabric by mail order can be iffy. I like the quality, but I don't always get the shade I was hoping for. Have had to "go with the flow" a bit more than I'm used to. Oddly, I enjoy marking and cutting the patches more than sewing them. Sewing is ok, but I'd rather be fussing over the PERFECT measurements in my home-made templates, or drawing the finest still legible line I can manage, and with the stitching line intersections drawn EXACTLY on point. I do one square at a time. Time consuming, but my idea of fun.
 
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