Friday, July 31, 2015

Little hexagons and other paper pieces

As I have so little time to work on my crafts lately, I've been working on some piecemeal projects - easy to do a few bits and pieces when I have just a little bit of time here and there.  In this case the bits of time are when the grandson is in his high chair eating meals (or coloring in his favorite Spongebob coloring book).  I've been cutting out shapes to work on some English Paper Piecing.

I have some hexagons, first of all.

I'm planning to make some hexie flowers - white for the center, with six hexagons around the outside.  The six hexagons will all be from the same fabric.

I've cut two sets (six each) of some of these fabrics because I'm hoping to swap hexie flowers with others in a Facebook group.  I'm using 1" Paper Pieces for this.

I know there are several ways (at least) to prepare and stitch hexagons.  I'm using a glue pen.  I put glue on one side of a paper hexagon

I center the hexagon on the piece of fabric, glue side of the paper piece facing the back side of the fabric.  I do a few of these, then start basting the fabric around the paper hexagon.  I do not sew through the paper.  I fold ahead a bit and use a paper clip to hold the fold while I stitch the previous fold.

I'm collecting these basted pieces, and when I have time for some hand-stitching I will put them together into hexie flowers.  I do use a running stitch when sewing them together.  I know many others use an overcast stitch.  Not my preference.  (I use a running stitch when doing hand applique as well; other people use overcast for that, too, but I prefer invisible stitches.)

The hexagons are one of three paper piecing projects I'm cutting bits of fabric for at the moment.  I'm also doing "jewel" shapes.  You can see the beige paper piece on the right-hand side.

Some of these fabrics are fussy-cut.  I was greatly inspired by Temecula Quilt Co's "Fussy Cut Fridays" and "Little Gems".  In fact, I ordered their "Little Gems Starter Kit" (and the toothpick dispenser) last month.  (Got this great photo as part of the kit.)

The third future-project is diamonds.  I'm planning to do something with a tumbling blocks design, so for this I don't need sets of six, although I cut them that way when convenient.

I'm using 1-1/2" 6-pointed diamond paper pieces for this.  I have been inspired by this photo, although I will be using a variety of white-on-whites for the stars.

Right now most of this is merely prep - cutting into 10" squares and fat quarters to make shapes.  I have started basting some of the hexagons.  I keep seeing hexie flowers being swapped on the Facebook group and really want to join in that!  These are all great for 10 or 15 minutes here-and-there, though.  The kitchen table is a mess right now, but cutting up bits of fabric and sewing them back together again is one of the things that makes me happy.  

Thursday, July 30, 2015


This is Picasso.  He is our future baby goat daddy for next year.  We got him from Jenness Farm, the goat milk soap makers.

I saw his picture on their Facebook page when they were posting about babies and fell in love.  We drove over a day or two later and bought him, but waited to bring him home until both of my girls had kidded.  He needed company of his own kind.

He is now just over two months old (born May 15).  I went out to the barn Monday morning to do my usual milking and barn chores, and found him very, very sick.  I thought he was going to die any minute, literally.  I spent three days nursing him.  I gave him CDT vaccine (should have had C&D antitoxin, but I couldn't find any.  All the mail-order sources were sold out, even.), Nutri-Drench (liquid vitamins), ProBios (probiotics).  He was staggering around, could barely walk, and seemed incapable of drinking, so I gave him goat milk with an oral syringe.  I gave him a dose of long-acting antibiotic in case he had something that would help, but also because I was worried about him aspirating the milk and developing pneumonia.  I gave multiple doses of Nutri-Drench and another dose of ProBios the next day.  I was worried about going out to the barn to check on him, afraid I'd find him dead.  By Wednesday morning I was seeing slight improvement - he was drinking water from a bucket, and nibbling at his hay, but was still off-balance and staggering, and seemed unable to drink from a bottle.  

Hubby went in to check on him Wednesday afternoon and said Picasso came bouncing over to him.  It did not seem possible, but I went in to check, and he was almost completely recovered, almost as suddenly as he took sick.  Praise God!  I took this video this evening to show him bright, alert and happy to see me, impatient for his bottle!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Perimetera shawl

Got the Perimetera shawl off the double points & on to a short circular. Should progress a little faster now.  The designer is Gina House, and this will eventually be a square shawl.

Just signed up for a class

I have had, over the course of my spinning career, very few opportunities to take classes.  Come to think of it, I have taken very few quilting classes, either.  I do remember the few I've had.  One spinning class was with Claudia Krisniski of Countrywool, and took place at the Cape Ann Motor Inn in Gloucester, MA.  (Still love that place!!)  One of my few quilting classes was at the now-defunct Silver Thimble Quilt Shop in Kingston, NH (I miss them!).

This year I get to take another class!  This one takes place at the Fiber Revival in Newbury, MA.  It is a class with Abby Franquemont on Spinning Fine - probably my most favorite spinning topic!  Abby is the author of the book (and video!) titled "Respect the Spindle" (amongst other endeavors).  I am looking forward to this class tremendously!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Knitting and quilting and sheep

I've been working on a couple of things.  As we currently have our grandson living with us (22 months), some things just don't happen - in fact, most things don't happen.  There has been very little knitting, spinning or quilting going on.

I have started one knitting project, though - the Perimetera shawl, by Gina House.  I am doing this in a dark gray lace weight  yarn called "Nimbus" by Jill Draper Makes Stuff.  This was purchased at a Knitting Lab (convention) shopping trip in Manchester (NH) a couple of years ago.  I had started something else with it, but changed my mind.  I've gotten a good start on the shawl so far.  It's a square, and has a center start.  Got that, I've got a handle on the increases, and am just trying to work a round or two when I can.  It will go much faster once I can get it off double pointed needles and on to circulars.

I'm trying to work on some quilt pieces.  I have been watching and following along some of the fussy-cutting quilt-alongs on the Temecula Quilt Company blog.  Right now I'm pulling fabrics and cutting sets of six jewel-shapes for the "Little Gems" paper-pieced units.   I'd also like to do a paper-pieced tumbling blocks type quilt.  I found a photo I like, with paper-pieced tumbling blocks joined with white six-pointed stars.  I really like the look.  (Photo is here.)

All of the goat babies have been sold, except Picasso, who is staying.  The sheep herd, however, has increased by two - Jacob ewes passed on to me by a friend.  They are doing a great job keeping the back yard mowed.  They are Talullah (left) and Daisy (right).  Daisy has 3 horns, and lighter wool.  I love spinning Jacob wool, and was very happy to give these two a home!