Friday, February 12, 2016

February Heat Wave!

Well I did not mean to be gone for nearly two weeks!  How does that happen?  Time just goes so quickly any more.  We have had quite a heat wave here in Southern California where I live.  All week, we have reached the high 80's and low 90's!  It has felt like summer.  Today I even had to turn on the air!  While I have enjoyed being outside and working in the yards, I must say, I do prefer colder temps in February!  We have such long, hot summers here, that I really enjoy the cooler months. 
I was sitting in my sewing room the other day, and looked out my window and was struck at how pretty the clouds looked in the sky.  I was also admiring the two American Flags that were waving proudly from their poles in my neighbors yards.
I so enjoy having my sewing room in the front room of the house.  For those who have been following me a while, you know that I moved my sewing room to our living room a couple of years ago.  I don't know why I didn't do that years ago.  There is a large picture window, which provides the best light in the house.  Not to mention, it is just pretty to look outside.  I have several feeders in my front planters and I enjoy watching the birds.  I also love that I can see what is going on in the neighborhood.  I see the mail come, and the neighbors walking their dogs.  Joggers going up and down the street, and just the comings and goings of all who live here.  It won't be long before those bare trees in the front are all leafed out and shading the lawn once again.  It is fun to watch the seasons change, even though we don't have true seasons like most folks do. 
Last weekend while at the market, my husband announced that he wanted to make some oatmeal raisin cookies.  I snickered, thinking that was really code for, "maybe if she hears me say this, she will make me some oatmeal cookies."  But no, we got home, and he set to work on his cookies.  He printed off a recipe from the web, and he proceeded to make cookies.  Now, mind you, in the nearly 37 years that we have been married, he has cooked exactly....well.....never.  He will bbq.  He will microwave hot dogs, but cook....NO!  He has made bread with me, but he does not cook.  Or  bake.  At least til now.
I did have to stay in the kitchen to show him where things were.  And how to turn on the mixer.  And how to turn on the oven.  And how to find a cookie sheet.  And cooling racks.  And spatulas.  But he did make them by himself.
And they were really very good.  So good in fact, that they were gone in no time at all.  He mentioned last night that he was planning to make more this weekend!
We have been picking our fruit constantly.  I juice as much of the oranges as I can and freeze it for when our trees are bare of fruit.  And I have been juicing the lemons and pouring into ice cube trays, and then popping the cubes into freezer bags.  I like having a good supply for when there are no lemons on the trees.
We invite our family and friends to come and pick to their hearts content.  There is far more than we could ever consume ourselves.  We did have them picked commercially one year, but I hated that the trees were bare and void of that beautiful color in the matter of one day!  And it isn't that lucrative anyway. 
Last week I took a quilt class at my LQS and had the best time.  I haven't taken a class in years.  I took a Twisted Heart class.  With this method, you sew your 5 inch squares into a pleasing pattern, mixing lights, darks and neutrals.  In this case, we were making a heart, so the pattern calls for you sew the squares into a heart shape using a guide to go by.  Then, you cut it to smithereens and make something totally different.  A twisted version of the heart.  It is a bit tricky.  I sat there in the class with 5 other experienced quilters.  We were all a bit perplexed.  I got half of it done, and had cut the squares for the following row, by the time the day and class had ended.  I was feeling somewhat confident.  And then it happened.  I made a boo boo.  The teacher had left, and a few of us were staying a little longer finishing up.  I couldn't make heads or tails out of what I had done, so I wrapped it up, and decided I would figure it out at home.  So off I went, and when I got home, I dumped all of the things in my sewing room, and didn't touch it again for a week!  Uh oh.....
I had completed the entire right side of the heart.  But I knew I had made a big mistake, and it was going to be close to impossible to fix.  When I finally got it all out and began to look at what I had done, I realized that the best way to go would be to sew the row together and make sure that the next row didn't have any cutting errors.  So, I have 4 blocks that are wrong.  Big time wrong.  Sticks out like a sore thumb, wrong.  I could either put it in a bag and forget about it, or keep going, and quilt it, and use it, covering up the area where the wrong blocks were.  I did love the fabrics I used.  I planned on making mine using colors of my house, rather than have yet another Valentine quilt or table topper. 
So I pressed on.  And learned a lot by doing so.  The method I thought I didn't like, I wound up liking a lot.  I plan to do another one using this method!  The photo below is zeroed in on where the 4 blocks that made wrong are.
EEK!!  I cringe when I see that!  Oh well.  Such is life.  And life isn't perfect.  I finished the heart, and then added the inner borders and outer borders, and cornerstone blocks.  And lo and behold, I really loved it!
What I wish I had done, even though it would have been the wrong placement, is put that bottom block with the one red tip pointing down, in symmetrical opposition of the one just to the right of it.  And least it would have drawn less attention to the error.  But I didn't.  And I am not going to rip it now.  I hung it on my clothes line to take a photo.
I cannot for the life of me, remember who the fabric designer was, or what the name of the line was.  But it is beautiful fabric.  Rich tones, with colors I love.  Pretty, earthy colors.  The color of the borders don't show just right here.  I will go ahead and machine quilt it this weekend, and I think I will be happy that I finished it regardless of the errors!
Now let's go thrifting!  I had to go to the mill today to get chicken feed, so I stopped at a thrift I like.  It had a big sign in the window saying everything was 50% off.  I like that!
I found these deep barn red curtain panels with grommeted tops.  They are the eclipse kind that are so pricey!  I have red panels in my family room now, but they didn't have the grommets on the top.  I got these for 3, yes 3 dollars a panel.  4 panels total!  They looked to be brand new.
I washed them on gentle cycle, with warm water, even though the tags said dry clean only.  I'm a rebel like that!  I hung them up and love them.  But we will need to lower the rod an inch or so.  Greg will be thrilled!  NOT!  Actually, I want to put a different rod up.  This one is too small. 
While still in textiles, I found this pretty Dutch Tulip quilt.  And the colors are so happy.  There were no tears, and very little sign of wear.  Only one small discoloration on the white part, but it came out sparkling clean in the wash. 
Now if that doesn't scream Spring, I don't know what does!   The fabric is the same on both sides.  It is trimmed in a primary red ruffle.
I immediately thought of having a picnic on it!!  Hold onto your hats for the price.  It was marked 7 dollars, so I got if for 3.50!
I found a fun flannel print King sized flat sheet.
It is all washed and Downy fresh now.  So soft!  It will more than likely become the backing to a quilt.
In housewares, I found these darling little melamine heart shaped bowls.
And the apple green woven placemats, were 50 cents for three.  I couldn't find a fourth.  Darn.
They all still had their tags on them.  The cashier had them folded in half to put them in my bag, but they steamed out nicely.  I have placed them on my covered patio, and they look so pretty and Spring(y)!
I saw this chunky, heavy pottery mug, with the red pickets and had to have it, even though we need another coffee mug like a hole in the head!  I love this type with the large handles, and heavy pottery.  Your coffee stays so nice and hot!
I am always on the lookout for anything that is sewing related.  The more vintage, the better.  I spotted this football shape with SINGER on the front.  I loved the retro green color.  But when I opened it up, I had no idea what it was, or how it was used.  But for 2.50, I knew it had to be mine.
Inside, it held an odd looking contraption, and 5 metal cams. 

I googled it when I got home, and found out it is a Buttonholer, made in the 60's.  I have no earthly idea how it is used!  But I think the container is neat looking and I love the color! 
I found this unusual lamp with the wicker base.  This is not the lamp shade that was on it.  I need to find one that will go with it.  I needed a little lamp on Greg's side of the sofa.
I have had a whirlwind of a busy week.  Erika's work hours have changed, and I am no longer taking Noah to school in the mornings.  I have decided it is high time I get out there and get some exercise.  I am shooting for my 10,000 steps.  I don't have my Fitbit yet, but I am hoping to get one in the next week or so.  I also need a new pair of scoots!!!
I leave you today with a little pretty.  My Welsummer is finally laying eggs now.  She lays the dark brown eggs.  What a pretty little pile of various colors there in the heart bowl! 
I pruned Daddy's Roses today too.  Aren't they gorgeous?
I will try to get back to more regular postings.  I just don't know where time goes lately?
Have a great weekend.  What are all of you doing for Valentine's Day?  Probably an early movie for us, and a quiet dinner at home.  It's gonna be hot all weekend.  There is sure to be some yard work involved too.
XOXO  Kris


Holly said...

You have been most busy! Loving all your goodies. Miss you bunches! (P.S. Did Geeps wash his own dishes?)

corners of my life said...

Your heart quilt is stunning.

Dawn said...

I like how the last block of the heart looks like it's tumbling down. I think it's the perfect way to make it unique and not a mistake at all. I can't believe what you find at your thrift store, ours here even the homeless wouldn't bother with.

Billie Jo said...

Hello there!
So enjoyed visiting with you this morning.
I loved hearing about the beautiful sights outside your window...
As I type this, I hear the snowplow and the wind howling outside mine!
We here in PA are finally getting our winter!
Yay for your hubby baking his cookies.
And they sound good!..
Have a cozy weekend.
We are having a quiet Valentine's dinner with the kids and probably watch a movie together.
Then later, The Walking Dead returns! Guilty pleasure. : )

Dogwood Lane Rambles said...

I have made a couple of those twister quilts and it sure is easy to get confused bt you maf=de a great save on this heart project and truly no one will notice if you don't point it out. Remember it's not a mistake it's a design opportunity!

Betsy said...

I love your quilt. It looks perfect to me and that the "mistakes" we're actually the way it was supposed to be. Almost like a falling block. Perfect. So many fun things in your post today. Love all of your thrift finds. You do find the best deals when you thrift. I seem to find junk!! Way to go with the cookies. Maybe soon you'll be booted right out of the kitchen! I'm so happy to see you back blogging Kris. You've been missed.

Pammy Sue said...

LOVE the heart quilt! So pretty. and that tulip quilt was quite the find. Score! Is Cookie Monster cleaning up his ness too? Heehee. Enjoyed your post. I'll take one day of your sunshine and warmth, but then you can have it back.

Teresa Kasner said...

I'm so glad you're blogging again.. you have such a bubbly personality that I always perk up when I see what you're up to. You know none of us would have seen any errors in your quilt project if you hadn't told us.. lol. Our loser chickens stopped laying ages ago.. sheesh. We're down to 3 hens so I think I need to get 3 more pullets. Love your heart bowls.. what a score! I hope your weather cools down.. you'd love the PNW.. we have distinct seasons but not a lot of really awful cold.

*H*A*P*P*Y* *V*A*L*E*N*T*I*N*E*S* *D*A*Y*

((hugs)), Teresa :-)

podso said...

I love your quilt--it looks great! And what a wonderful view from your sewing room. I smiled at the story of your hubby making cookies. Next time he shouldn't need the tour of kitchen, right? MAybe he's taking up a new hobby! Happy Valentine's

Mereknits said...

No wonder time is flying so fast look at all you have been up to! Love that your husband made those cookies, he looks very pleased with himself. And what wonderful finds you have!!!! I personally like the quilt, I think it looks like it was put together with tiles and the tiles are starting to fall away, if you hadn't mentioned anything, I would not even noticed it wasn't supposed to be that way.
Hugs to you,

Patricia @ CorninmyCoffee-pot said...

What a bunch of FUN!
I love the quilt you made-- if you don't tell people it's there, most people won't notice the mistake.
I don't make anything without a small flaw in it. Just the law of crafting, I think. Anyway, it's pretty!
I bet his cookies were good- he looks pleased.
And you got a lot of great scores thrifting too.
See you again soon.

Gracie Saylor said...

Happy Valentine's Day, Kris! We are planning our traditional meatball and spaghetti dinner, using red checked tablecloths, and playing Italian music in the background. [Think Lady and the Tramp :)] Some of us will have yummy spaghetti squash noodles instead of pasta noodles.

I agree with some above who urge you not to point out your quilting error. It is lovely as is!!!

Your thrifting finds are amazing, and I especially love the tulip quilt.

Cheers for freezing as much of your fruit as you can, and sharing your crop so generously with others.

Greg's cookies look good, ... maybe he is finding another hobby to enjoy :)

I love your neighborhood and can understand why you love your current sewing room...a great choice.

Thanks so much for posting! I love visiting with you and am inspired by your creative living.

Sending you lots of hugs with love xxxxxxxxxxxx

Jeanna said...

Great job Greg! The cookies really didn't last long.

You found some awesome treasures while thrifting. And the twisted heart quilt is adorable.

Patty Marker said...

The quilt top is gorgeous and I would have never caught the mix up. I envy your fruit trees, we are putting in three this week with hopes for plenty of citrus in our future. Love your posts. Miss you my friend. Are you free for breakfast now? It's time we came your way for some thrifting.

Kelli said...

I love your quilt! And all yiur wonderful thrift finds!
Yes we are having a little heat waver here in northern ca as well.

Taciana Simmons said...

Wow m friend you are always quiet busy ... I love the hart quilt and if you didn't punt out I would've thought you meant to put that piece their ... And now yours is unique with a few different pieces. Happy Valentin's my dear friend ❤️