Thursday, July 23, 2015

Plum Time

When I started sewing those skirts in June, I knew I wouldn't have much sewing time in July, but I didn't really remember why.  Now I do.
Plums.  Our plum tree is prolific again this year, and it is keeping me busy.
Scoot and I picked these just this morning.  There are more ripe ones on the tree, and more underfoot.
I've bottled some jam, and a lot of barbecue sauce.  And we've had plum desserts, plum dinners, and plums on the side.
The plums are delicious, but they don't keep well, so I'd better get back to work!

What are you preserving this summer?

Monday, July 13, 2015

Summer Book Trek 2015

More July inspiration!  It's time to join the Summer Book Trek over at New LDS Fiction.  Read books by LDS authors, and win books from more LDS authors!

Unfortunately, I didn't remember this grand event, and went and finished Shannon Hale's Dangerous on June 30, too soon to get credit for the Trek.  But it was too exciting.  You know what I mean.

Still, I've found some further destinations for my own trekking.  I plan to visit:
Where will you trek to this July?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Skirting the Issue

Every July the lovely ladies at Simple Simon & Co encourage sewists around the world to sew and donate skirts for girls in foster care.
I've watched their success for a couple of years now, and thought I ought to participate, but didn't get around to it.  This year I finally managed to contribute, by starting in June.
I chose some purple-based fabric from Grandma O's stash, and sewed up a range of sizes.  I don't have any girls' patterns around here, so I consulted LiEr's handy Skirt Cheat Sheet and size charts from Crafterhours and Project Run and Play to get it right.  With this flowery material I made one skirt in size 6 and two in size 5.
These stripes begged to be horizontal, so I made them into one skirt in size 4 and two in size 3.
 I even inserted hand-embroidered size tags.
I used a ruffler foot for the first time, to sew up this glittery little skirt.  Isn't it perfect for size 2?
I left all seven at the local foster care closet today, and I'm sure I'll never see them again.  I hope they make some little girls feel pretty, whatever their circumstances.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee . . . naked, and clothed thee?
 . . . And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.                                                                                                                   
Matthew 25:37-40 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Summer Cookin'

Every summer I graciously allow the boys to share in the pleasure of planning and cooking dinners.  Isn't that generous of me?  Here are a few of their menus so far:
The Caterpillar treated us to bacon-wrapped hot dogs with salsa and sauteed onions and peppers.
D2 slow-cooked red beans and rice.
Scoot baked calzones, after we filled them ourselves.
And this evening, Rollo steamed us some oyako donburi.  Oishii!  They are doing a great job, and, hopefully, learning some useful skills.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Pillow for Pengui

One Saturday, D2 came to me looking for something to do.  He has a short list of standard requests, but that day, he wanted "something I don't usually do."  I suggested a sewing project.  It only took him a minute to remember one he'd planned to do some time ago: a bed for Pengui.
 D2 chose some material, and started with a pillow.
 A very small pillow, even for Pengui.
Then he moved on to the mattress.  He planned, measured, cut, sewed, turned, stuffed, and stitched it all closed with minimal help.
Pengui soon passed the bed onto a smaller member of the menagerie, but it was definitely a sewing success for D2!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Stash to Treasure: Peasant Top

I found this lovely print in Grandma O's stock, and thought it would make a nice top.  The only problem--it was pre-cut into six fat quarters.  I would need to do some piecing for the front and back.  So I decided to decorate the seams with some lace. 
I pressed an edge under, and used a simple hemstitch to create reinforced holes.  Then I used my smallest crochet hook to force the yarn (CoBaSi in Curacao, left over from this sweater) through the holes, and slip-stitched along the edge.  Switching to larger hooks, I single-crocheted in every other slip stitch, then crocheted some decorative lace.
I used two patterns from The Finer Edge, by Kristin Omdahl.  I've returned the book to the library, so I don't remember their names, but I used this big fan for the front, and the smaller pearls for the back and sleeve edges.
After I sewed the decorated edges to the plain cloth, I cut the pieces according to Simplicity 1162, more or less.  I raised the neckline, which is a little complicated with raglan sleeves and  gathers.  And I did some less decorative piecing, since parts of me are a bit wider than a fat quarter.  (What does that make me?  A broad?)  I didn't have a long strip for the neck binding, so I used white bias tape to make an elastic casing inside. 
When I was crocheting the lace, the Caterpillar asked what I was up to.  I explained my ideas, and he was impressed.  "Everything you do is an experiment," he said, or words to that effect.  "You teach yourself five new skills just to make one thing."  Well, maybe not every time.  But this was fun to figure out, and I like my new top!

Friday, May 29, 2015


 Someone has been eating the strawberry leaves.
And the bean leaves.
I think I have a suspect.  I caught him eating the fruit trees.
He hasn't been eating the violets, but then I don't want to eat them, either.
Too bad he's so darned cute.