Archive for February, 2015

Another Monday

It is a slow-start Monday.

I shut the water off in my shower at 7:54 this morning. I know that because that is the exact time my doorbell rang, rang, and rang. I didn’t change a thing. I dried at my usual pace and finished my time in there.

Then I came to the computer, totally blocked from view by the door, and checked my camera. Yep. Someone in insulated coveralls, hat, hoodie, & gloves was at my door at 7:54.  A few minutes before he had walked part way down the lane.  Then he came to the house.  And walked back to the highway.

I called the farmer but he usually can’t hear his phone during chores.  In the winter.  Beneath his insulated coveralls.  In his pocket.  I know that.  But he called me back when he could. That is how it works.

When he was done with chores he helped with the blown tire at the end of the lane.

February is so bare.  Someday this tree will bloom — first some small ferny leaves and then it gives us clusters of orange berries.  Gpa M knows the name of it.  Years ago, Gpa bought 2 of these and planted one here for JP to tend.  The deer ate off Gpa’s tree.  I think he is jealous of our tree.

Feb 23 B

Good morning, Monday!

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Some friends had told me about finding a Habitat for Humanity shop and I finally got to visit one.   It is about 1:15 away but it was a fun stop!

I had a list: end table, night stand, another night stand, mirror and even had my tape measure for getting the correct sized mirror and night stand.  None of that was found or purchased!

I fell in love with this lamp in the first row but wandered the whole store before I got a cart.  It was still there and I still loved it.  So pleased with this purchase!  I have other projects on the to-do list so I won’t get to this for awhile.  But maybe I should clean it before my EE comes home so that he can rewire it for safety and my purpose.

lamp B

It is about 3′ tall and the more I look at it, I think maybe it could have come from the outside entrance of a church instead of a huge home.  It is big!  The plan is to hang it on a living room wall and Miss K agreed and had the perfect spot to suggest.

It is brass-plated.  I’m not after a shiny brass so will just aim for clean and not sparkly.

I also found this metal something.  There was a label but not on the item so I think maybe it was taped to the floor.  So now only going from limited knowledge of it to start with… some metal cutting device but nothing is sharp.  It is about 4′ long.


This is the only photo I have of the to-be quilt rack.  My purchases in the back of the car.  Excited!

The plan with this is to clean off the rust as best I can and spray with primer and chrome paint.  If necessary, either of my welders will cut off what isn’t needed so I can use this as a quilt rack in Mr. JP’s room.  Aiming for accessories in chrome and/or electrical for his room.  (And yes, there is a wall quilt planned … no frilly, but colors to go and modern design.  Not today or probably this season.)

This could have satisfied me for the outing but I added stops for lunch, odds & ends needed, 2 new houseplants 🙂 , and a hot decaf mocha for the way home.

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Wholecloth, my hand-dyed fabric, my design, freehand quilting, … is there more to say?

20150209_112358 B02

For a sweet great-nephew who has been waiting awhile for his quilt.

Feb 2015 01 B

100% cotton top, 100% Hobbs cotton batting, 100% cotton flannel on the back.  So warm & cuddly as I hand-sewed the binding down in the evenings.


And he seems to like it!  🙂

Feb 2015 02 B

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Who Loves Winter?

She does.

Nina mid Feb 01 B

The snow drift has gotten a lot smaller but it seems she likes that spot for guarding.

Nina mid Feb 02 B

She heard me through the window and turned!

Nina mid Feb 03 BShe really doesn’t like her photo taken.  And when she is inside, she is usually sound asleep.

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Here is the rest of my test quilting… aka doll quilts… (if so desired).  Hand-dyed fabrics, wholecloth, my design, practice with some new rulers, and testing battings.  Part 1   Part 2  

Nothing is perfect and I’m OK with that… they are practice pieces… I know that… so I know there are errors.  I’m OK with that so I hope you are too.  They sat around waiting for finishing.  (imagine that!)  Now they are finished, bound, and washed & dried.


One quilt (L) has a layer of Hobbs 80/20 batting and 2 layers of Legacy wool batting. The other quilt (R) has just 2 layers of Legacy wool batting.


I used Legacy wool because I had it.  I won’t buy it anymore. I much prefer Hobbs 100% wool batting.  Mostly because it took 2 layers of Legacy to make 1 layer of Hobbs in my opinion.   OK… Hobbs is a great brand of batting all over!

I can see the wool only quilt has a bit more poof to it and is a lighter feel.  For my future plans, I’ll stick with just the wool when I want that look.



Usually I do a wholecloth quilt more heavily quilted but I didn’t feel the need on practice pieces for play.


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When I did my snow-dyeing the cold of the snow affects the color outcomes so I didn’t get as close to my aim as I had hoped.  A few days later, I used the basic low-water immersion technique.  However, because I wasn’t working outside (are you kidding?!!! Brrr!!), I worked in the basement furnace room.  It isn’t heated there so I still had some loss of planned colors because of not working at room-temperature.

I did the red/fuchsia/pink mix again in a parfait 3-layer technique and still it is a bit more red than I prefer.




I also did the gradations of grays to dark gray.

I love the fabrics even though the final outcomes are not what I intended on getting.    Hopefully, I can try these outside this summer.


These are following the winter season recipes in Ann Johnston’s book, Color by Accident.

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I always have future quilts of my own swirling in my head.  And when Saturday & Sunday gave us over a foot of snow and huge drifts, I paused my Monday work for snow dyeing for a future idea.

My favorite fabric dyeing book is Color by Accident by Ann Johnston.  She has seasonal dyeing projects in the back of the book using all her techniques.  So I chose winter for snow dyeing.  I was pleased the “recipes” were written for 1 yard pieces as that is what my head wanted.

But she doesn’t use snow-dyeing. So I took her ideas, twisted the thought with snow-dyeing, and hoped for a good result.

I don’t aim for accuracy with my fabric dyeing so each piece is a one-of-a-kind… doubtful I could repeat it.

Monday, I read the sections I needed in Ann’s book, planned, prepped, got out supplies, and worked on the dyeing process in my basement furnace room and trips out the garage to get buckets of snow.  From 10:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. …. all 8 yards – 4 recipes of Ann’s – were set in the shower to dye.


The parfait recipe in a bucket.


For snow-dyeing I use trays for the fabrics so they can drip as the snow melts and let it set about 24 hours or when the snow is gone and I get back to it.  Twenty-two hours for these.


Right after I added the snow & dyes.



8 hours later


On Tuesday morning, I rinsed all the fabrics in the basement and then ran them through rounds of the washing machine with hot water & synthrapol.



Ice Blue… I like this!


red & green layers

Ironed on Wednesday.  I really need someone to hold them all up individually and take a photo. Each one is so different throughout the whole yard that a fold area just doesn’t give it justice.

The red – burgundy- fuchsia parfait… I goofed, mixed too much, forgot the top layer (HA!) and they are just more red than I’ll probably ever use.   I have one piece that will be perfect for a winter sky.  The black gradations were highly affected by the cold temps with the snow and are mostly teal & purple of varying degrees but quite modeled.  I like them!!



Snow dyeing fabrics. Colors aren’t accurate as I took this photo with my phone and no flash.


On Wednesday since I knew that I could do better with the parfait and still wanted to try a black/gray gradations batch, I did those with Ann’s low-water emersion technique.  Still in the basement room that is unheated so a bit affected by the cooler temps.   Not gray… still a bit of purple but I’m just fine with all I’ve made.  Those will be for another post.  The fabrics still need ironed and photographed.

Fifteen yards dyed and every time I dye fabric I’m reminded how fun it is to dye fabric!

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Wool Socks

P has been wearing wool socks the last few years and he likes them. I took the leap this winter as well.  Store-bought ones.

Then I treated myself after the new year.  Now I have home-grown wool and home-made wool socks from a farmer friend!  🙂

socks 2

They sell at local farmers’ markets many, many months of the year as well as a December Christmas market.  Outside!  (She is much stronger than I am for winter!!)  Not just wool socks, but wool dryer balls, denim woven rugs (she has a loom!) and all sorts of yummy farm goodies they raise & make.


socks 1

I wear shoe size 7 and this pair was labeled for sizes 6-8 and I think they are perfect!  Easy to get on & off.  (I had a pair from a store that I threw away b/c I couldn’t get them off!)

So these socks….

  • they raise their own stock… baby lambs… how cute!
  • shear the wool  (and all that entails…)
  • spin wool to fibers
  • and for the socks….. her husband knits them in an antique circular sock knitter!!

I’m not kidding!!! Isn’t that cool!!

Please check out her etsy shop, Shady Side Farms, and add her to your favorite shops.   Her blog is very informative for farmer and for me the more northern farm differences from our farm.  Start at her website and you can choose which is your next step but I’ll warn you the blog has photos of baby lambs.  🙂

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February Sunshine

Monday after the storm we had a sunrise!  Blue skies and sunshine were a good change from Saturday & Sunday!

More photos from out my windows.

7:30 a.m. —
0730 (1)

The snow fence is full which is its job so that is good.


0730 (3)

0730 (4) B


10:00 a.m. —


1000 (3)

The main plowing here is just starting.  Livestock were cleared & fed first.  Then P got breakfast.  Then he went to find the lane and the mailbox.  After lunch, he dug for the not-so-smart driver on the corner that was stuck since 1 p.m. Sunday (person was rescued… car is not and another day has passed), his parents, the neighbor, and more of our farm.


1000 (2) B

She loves the snow.  This snow has a hard layer on top… she isn’t breaking through this drift!  ha!  After lunch I found her laying in the sun… on top of snow.  Bliss… to her!


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February Welcome

This weekend they got the weather forecast right.

Over 24 hours of snow and high winds = we were glad we had planned to stay home.  Others weren’t so smart in decision-making.

Most churches were cancelled and our church played a service online for us and I’m glad P saw the post about that just 10 minutes before it started.  Thanks to JP, we can watch the internet on our TV and not huddle around the computer screen.  The sweetest was the surprise at the end of the prayer.  Darling!

Meanwhile… I took a few photos of Sunday….

8:45 a.m. —


11:20 a.m. —

1120 B


3:30 p.m. —
1530 (1)

1530 (2)

1530 (3)


Monday update later.

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