Friday 26 July 2013

Two new rows for the Spring quilt

Finally I could join the blocks for the June row of my Happy Scrappy Spring quilt with the big stitcheries:

and the July row was really easy after that effort:

 I'm waiting for the wool I bought for the applique before I join the rows together. There will be so many bunnies, and flowers and carrots too. It will be easier to add them to the separate rows.

Yesterday I met this little fellow fast asleep in the shadow of my geranium pot. In the evening he or she was running around our yard, first looking at my work and then on the lawn wondering about Mr. K's casting exercises.

The hedgehog's legs are quite long when he walks on a hard surface. This is in our yard. Today he was loitering in the street, very dangerous for a little hedgehog.

I was having a space problem with layering of the Bee in My Bonnet quilt in the house, because it is a big one. Then Mr. K. built me a nice new floor just perfect for this.
Just kidding, this will be our outdoors coffee place when it is finished. I just borrowed it for the sandwiching. There I was, on my hands and knees, with hundreds of safety pins on the quilt top for more than an hour for every passer-by to see. I never knew how many dog-walkers and joggers go past our house on a beautiful summer evening. I was surprised nobody asked me what I was worshipping there, because they must be tired of asking Mr. K. funny questions about his "fishing on the lawn".

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Tour de Fibre 2013 - Finale

The Tour is over for this year, and I managed to get one project finished during the three week period of watching TV and sewing. It is the Peek-a-Boo Street quilt.
Let's walk around this neighbourhood but maybe we can take a cup of coffee with cake in the café first? There is a café in both corners of this first street, and between them a fabric store and a shop that sells both sewing notions and silks for fly-tyers.
Around the corner is something for babies in two shops, yet another café (!), and a yarn shop.

The Lavender Shop sells herbs and spices, the next one is a music shop. The shop with the yellow roof is specialised in mushrooms, wild berries and such. I had to think hard to find a suitable product for the shop with my sun-dyed leaf fabric before I had an excelent idea: In Finnish we can use the same word, lehti, for a leaf and a newspaper or magazine, so this is a newsstand.

Along the last street runs a little brook. There is a plant nursery (because they have a very big backyard up here), the first house for flowering plants and the second for trees. Next is a place where you can buy treasure maps and all kinds of equipment you might need for adventures, and the last one is a fishing gear shop. Test fishing is possible in the brook.

Thank you, Stephanie for the pattern! This quilt will go to the nursing home where Mr. K's father spent his last years. It will keep someone warm when they go out in wheelchairs, or whenever their old bones feel like they need to be kept warm. This quilt is also for my Cratft Olympics, my second thimble for the New projects category.
Scandinavian Snowball Fun is now my main project:
And this is the secret project I started and finished during the Tour, now arrived and taken into use. It is my version of Kaffee-Momente stitcheries by Diana.
To celebrate the end of the100th Tour de France I baked a cake and had an Oops experience:
With a fairly liquid inside the cake collapsed, but the taste was still nice. Next time I'll need to bake longer and test more than one spot!

The July stitcheries of Happy Scrappy Spring are also finished and I'm putting the row together between other projects.

Saturday 20 July 2013

Tour de Fibre 20 - more stitching

Yesterday's post reminded me of the Scandinavian Christmas quilt I was stitching last year as a part of the Tour de Fibre 2012. I took out another Lynette Anderson project, Scandinavian Snowball Fun, that I was going to stitch together with Melanie last Autumn. Life (and the opposite) happened, and I couldn't get my project started. Melanie has finished ages ago but said she will keep her project secret until I'm ready.
So I have built a cosy nest on the sofa, where I'm surrounded by the pattern sheets, three snowball blocks to stitch, and my floss and thimbles and needles.

I had prepared the blocks months ago but for some reason - again - didn't proceed. I know I have too little dark red floss, so I have stitched on all the blocks with other colours and keep on doing so until on Monday I can buy that missing floss. There is still so much to stitch here! The long  Eurosport broadcasts from the Tour de France in the Alps have been just perfect for this project. Yesterday the Finnish reporters told about a lady who was supposedly knitting on her 4th sweater during the Tour, and they found the idea quite hilarious. They immediately imagined a family wearing a yellow, green, white and dotty sweater. How little do they know! In addition to our Tour de Fibre I have seen a Tour de Fleece for spinners - and they were not having a spinning group at a gym, but making yarn - and there must be other more or less loosely formed groups, who all combine the great cycling event with things to do with their hands while watching. Three weeks of intensive work on old and new projects mean good results! A stitchery in the hand also prevents me from eating all the time quite efficiently.

In the garden the hosta is in bloom. We planted 5 plants of 4 different species of hosta some three years ago, and it looks like we have to give them a little more space and replant some of them in a new place.

Friday 19 July 2013

TdF 17 to 19 - Stitching

The binding of Peek-a-Boo Street is finished, but I'll show you the quilt when it has been ironed and the finishing touches have been added.

I have played with the June row of Happy Scrappy Spring and pieced some blocks for it. I need some new fabric to get the row finished.

Once again it happened to me that I cut the stitchery block too small to begin with. This time it was just half an inch too narrow, so I will adjust it by making the sashing wider here. I will add the applique later. The first little bunny will get a kite, and there will be lots of leaping bunnies, carrots and hearts over the blocks.

Today's weather has been rainy, but here you have some sunny day flowers.

Tuesday 16 July 2013

TdF 13 to 16 - slow progress on Peek-a-Boo Street

The past few days have been busy with a secret project so I'm showing you other pictures. My old rattan basket flower table could not bear the weight of rain but fell through the frame. It was only supported by the pleated rim, and when soaked in the rain it was easily bent. I must soak it again and put it under some weight upside down on a flat surface. The geraniums will get another pot.
We have had two anniversaries over the weekend, and celebrated the beginning of our story with a wild raspberry cheesecake. Dear Mr. K went to the forest to see how the bilberries are and whether there are any chanterelles yet. Bilberries were not yet ready, chanterelles were not to be seen, but he found lots and lots of perfect, worm free wild raspberries. Delicious!
I have machine quilted the Peek-a-Boo Street quilt and made the binding. I just need to iron it and sew it on, and I will have a perfect TV project for tomorrow's Tour de France.

Thursday 11 July 2013

TdF 11 and 12 - I'll never be up to date!

It seems that I spend too much time watching the Tour on TV, because I'm always a day late with my posting! Anyway, the central panel for Kaaren's Happy Scrappy Spring is now done. I just need to make the quilt blocks for this row now, before putting it aside to wait for the applique.

Today I started the July stitchery, a cute little chick with an umbrella and rubber boots.

I have been machine quilting the Peek-a-Boo Street quilt, hoping to get the binding as my hand sewing project during the Tour. Bindings are such a dull job that they require some TV watching. The backing is a smoky blue flannel.

Here you have a glimpse of my new flowerbed with a malva just opening its first flowers. The background is a part of Mr. K's 5 year plan waiting for its turn.

Tuesday 9 July 2013

TdF 9 and 10 - just some progress on two projects

This is still the June stitchery for Happy Scrappy Spring. I'm also picking fabrics for the quilt blocks in this row and in July's. I have misplaced a fabric I wanted to use for the connecting chequerboard rows, and I need to find nice wool fabrics for the applique all over the quilt. There will be bunnies, carrots, hearts and flowers at least.

The Peek-a-Boo Street quilt is pin basted and ready to be quilted.

Sunday 7 July 2013

TdF 7 and 8, stitching in all kinds of weather

Yesterday we had "local showers":

It was raining for about 15 minutes, so hard that the ground couldn't take up the water, and the gravel area of our yard looked like this.

I was happily stitching the big central panel of the Happy Scrappy Spring quilt and watching the cyclists in the mountains. Luckily they had a sunny day.

The thunder last night wiped our sky clean and we are having a hot day again. Not a cloud in sight.

I couldn't resist showing you one last bird baby picture:
This was the last baby flycatcher to come out of the nest. They only stay in sight for a few hours on the lawn before they disappear to the safety of the woods to learn the skills needed to cope on their own. Click the image so you can see the fierce look in this one's eyes, and the wide baby peak.

Friday 5 July 2013

TdF 5 and 6, a little this and that

Have some wild strawberries! The taste and sweetness of a big strawberry squeezed in this size, smaller than a fingertip, and add some sunshine and childhood memories, and a delicious scent. Mr. K picked these for me this morning before he went fishing with DS1.

I have almost finished another one of June's stitcheries for Happy Scrappy Spring, and worked on the corner blocks for Peek-a-Boo Street.

The babies of Pied Flycatchers came out yesterday. I noticed this one through the kitchen window, on the ground, testing his wings and his lungs. "Mama, I'm hungry! Where are you?", he was chirping. And then louder: "Mama, Papa, can't you see I'm starving? I can open my peak even bigger so you can see where to bring the food!". And finally, in a small voice: "Have you forgotten about me already? Mama, bring me at least some foooood!"

And then the Mama came, gave him a mosquito or two, and said: "Look, little fellow, I have others to feed too, but it is time you all start learning how to find your own food and use your wings. Everything is fine, I'm here now. Look here, there is an ant, they are easy to catch. Let me show you!"

Wednesday 3 July 2013

Tour de Fibre 4 - in our own style

Mr. K and I have our own ways of making the most of the Tour de France. I'm participating in Hanne's and May Britt's Tour de Fibre for the second time, making fibre projects while watching the Tour on TV but also at other times when machine sewing is needed. Today's project is another block of Kaaren's Happy Scrappy Spring.

Mr. K concentrates totally on watching when the TV is on, but before it is TV time, he takes is own bike and put on his hot cycling pants and the bright shirt, a helmet and the cycling shoes and goes for a ride, maybe 25 km or so.

I'm glad we live in a rather flat part of the country. The Tour's mountains are frightening, both up and downhill.

Tuesday 2 July 2013

Tour de Fibre 3 - The village is up

My Peek-a-Boo Street has the centre built and all houses are standing the right way. I must learn to keep all my seam allowances the same width! I had to make the yard of the last house along the moss green sidewalk a little bigger because the houses came out a bit narrow. Triple borders and corners with yo-yo's and flower applique will be next on this list.

My summer flowers start to fill the empty spaces in their box and grow nicely. Today was a fresh day after last night's thunder and rain.

Monday 1 July 2013

Tour de Fibre 2 - building houses and roads

Look how busy I have been in the Peek-a-Boo Street! All houses are built, the garden work is done.

The pavements need to be finished. This will be such a nice street with cafés, fabric and yarn shops.

Wild Summer flowers in an old milk can. Have a wonderful day!