Monday Meanderings

Monday Meanderings

This weekend was spent rug hooking, talking with family, sewing a doll outfit and gardening.

I also sent an email to the photographer whose photos I am using as a base for some of my nature journaling. I wanted to make sure he knew I was using his photos and how. He was okay with it. His name is John Phillips. He’s a Nova Scotia photographer. Check out his website here!

I hooked more on “Gyeongju”.  I have one quarter of the border left to do – about four to five hours work.  I’m looking forward to finishing.

My doll now has a new sailor dress outfit.  This is my childhood doll and I’ve been meaning to sew her a new outfit for years.  I never really prioritized it though. But Saturday was the day. I sewed the hat, dress and panties.  The hat looks big, but actually just fits the back of the head.

My niece looked at it and commented the doll looked scary. Lol!  Poor doll is over 55 years old and missing a few eyelashes and a pinkie finger.  The missing lashes and discoloured face from age definitely give  it a different look! Lol!

This week I am pushing to finish hooking “Gyeongju” and blocking it.  I am also transplanting plants into pots for the deck garden.  I have extra plants to unload on friends.  I have a couple friends lined up already.

If you have been, thanks for reading.  I hope you have a great week!

 

Weekly Review – Museum Hanging System

Weekly Review – Museum Hanging System

This week was a week of moving forward on various projects.

I finished spinning an alpaca fibre I acquired from a lady out in Regina, Saskatchewan many years ago (thank-you Sharon!).  It’s a beautiful soft yarn, and I haven’t processed it yet!  This yarn will be used for knitting.

In the process of cleaning up my studio last week I found my old doll.  It’s over 50 years old!   It needs new clothes.  I believe the last time I sewed for her was in the 1980s, and it was just a pajama top and panties set.  This time she’s going to sport a coordinating sailor dress, panties and bonnet in various patterns of hot pink!  The sewing pattern is decided and cut.  Today I plan to do some sewing.

In the rug hooking arena I dyed more purple wool fabric to finish hooking the border on “Gyeongju”.  I figure I have 6-8 hours of hooking left to do.  Then it’s onto blocking and hemming the edges.  I have to decide what kind of hanging system to use with it.  It’s a pretty heavy piece, so I may take the time to make a full museum quality hanging system.

What’s that? You ask?

Well, I take a strip of thin wood (check out the trim section of your lumber store), cut it to length, and shellac it.  Then I staple hook and loop tape to it – the hook side.   I sew the loop side to the top of the rug.  I drill a couple of holes either end of the trim…right through the hook and loop tape.  I screw it to the wall where I want to hang the piece, making sure it’s level.  Then I just push the loop part of the tape onto the hook part, making fine adjustments as I go to make sure the rug is hanging level.

It is a time consuming way to hang a rug, and is not cheap.   But it’s the best system I’ve seen for big heavy rugs like mine in the long run.

Well, if you have been, thanks for reading!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

It’s been a busy week for me. In between rug hooking, yard cleanup, sewing and gardening, there’s also been nature journaling. I’m really enjoying learning more about observing and recording nature, even though I struggle with the scientific end of it…primarily thinking of questions to ask about my observations. But, the drawing practice is invaluable!

I spent some time watching YouTube videos by John Muir Laws on nature journaling.  He uses coloured pencils outdoors.  Because I’ve been working from photographs indoors, I’ve been using watercolours.  You can use either in either location.  But I’m thinking I could use a greater variety of journals, at a more affordable price, if I learned to use coloured pencils properly.  So I put an order into Michaels craft store for curbside pickup of a few pencils and a case to hold them.

Here are more watercolour pages in my nature journal.

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In other news, I finally finished the last project for the L.L. Bean shirts that belonged to my dad when he passed away three years ago.  Dad loved L.L. Bean clothes – their shirts in particular.  He had white hair and blue eyes. He could wear just about any colour, and did!  The bright orange nylon one became a cushion cover for his widow. The rest I took and sewed into various projects – one for each descendant.  You can find “The Shirt Project” video here .

While all of the projects but one were finished within a few months of Dad’s death, one project in particular was vexing. One of my nephews wanted a knife sheath for a jackknife. The shirts just aren’t built for that. But I happened to have some tanned moose hide, so thought I’d try. Then we had to focus on moving. It wasn’t till last fall that I picked up the project again. I broke many needles and couldn’t sew the moose hide on my home machine, even with leather needles. So, after consultation with my nephew, I sewed this alternative gift. Here’s the final project for my last nephew.

Hubby and I also put together a raised garden bed to run along the side of our raised deck.  We traded our deformed cedar we had to have cut down (it was growing in power lines) for some milled lumber leftover from a neighbour.


We also put together a Muskoka Bear chair, which is really a type of Adirondack chair.  Hubby is working on the matching chair now.  It came in pieces.  Hubby sanded it, painted it and assembled it.  The colour is Aruba Blue by Benjamin Moore, and I just love it!

Well, if you have been, thanks for reading!  I hope you all have a wonderful, productive weekend.  Take care.

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

So after looking at my project mind map Monday, how did I do this week? Well, as you can see from the above photo, I’ve removed some of the hooking on “Autumn” to correct a composition error.  

I also took the second session of Beth Miller’s class on hooking a tote bag and finished my project bag. It was a fun class and it was interesting to do something a bit different with my hooking, rather than making another piece to hang on the wall. I really enjoyed this class.

I also worked more on the hourglass for “Time”, a poem my youngest daughter wrote when she was 11 years old. I plan on adding embellishments to this piece. And I will be attaching the poem, on a label, to the back of the wall hanging. This project is for Nadine Flagel’s class.

I have pressed and pinned my abstract pieces from Donna Mulholland’s class. I plan to hem those today.

That leaves the chair pads from Susan Feller’s class to do. Tomorrow I’ll be dyeing fibre for those. I plan on dip dyeing some coral/pink for carnations. I may need more blues for “Time” as well.

Next up after the first chair pad is to finish my South Korean rug. It’s been sitting around far too long. I started it last January 2020. Then I bought a house and furniture and decorating and well, lots of time with family (when Covid let us) and on artist retreats…it was a great year in a lot of ways, but I didn’t work much on the South Korea rug.

Thankfully, come last October, Karen Miller’s first Workshop Week gave me a bit of a wake up call to get hooking again. It’s been slow over winter. Mostly I’ve been playing with finishing class projects and organizing my studio so I can actually get in there to work! I have entirely too much stuff there still.

I have, however, been sketching new designs. Hopefully this year I’ll get to those. I find large projects bog me down. This South Korean End Cap Tiles rug is large for me.

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

This week my emphasis was on sewing new blackout curtains for our master bedroom. It faces the street and there is a street light right out front of the house. I finished all but the hemming by Wednesday night. They have to hang a while before I attempt to hem them.

I did start in on fixing the hand quilting on the 44 year old quilt, but the damage is more extensive than I thought. This is going to take some time to fix.

Tuesday we ended up running errands. Thursday I spent preparing for next week’s Workshop Week 2 through In The Studio, and organizing items to be framed. I took all of my needlework to the framer. I only wanted three pieces done at the moment, but I wanted her opinion on the others. She was very generous with her time and expertise. I have a better idea how to handle my items now. I’m going to cull them further to see how much I really want done.

I still want to finish the South Korea sketches, the South Korean rug, and my Autumn wall hanging. I haven’t decided how I’m going to hook the corner yet.

This week we had a number of health checks that took up time. Plus I go walking for an hour every morning with a walking buddy in my Covid bubble. Next week will be rug hooking time! I’m looking forward to Workshop Week 2!

If you have been, thanks for reading everyone! Have a great weekend!

Monday Morning

Monday Morning

This week is a red letter week! I finished binding the 44 year old quilt yesterday. All that is left is to fix and finish knotting the hand quilting. It’s mostly done, but needs a bit of touch up. I need daylight to see to thread needles. So it will happen Tuesday, because…

Today I have a friend coming to help me plan, measure, and cut curtains for our master bedroom. We actually have them planned already. This afternoon we’re getting together with the other friend in our five person Covid bubble to play some Scrabble. Come evening I expect to be sewing curtains. I doubt I will finish in one evening, but I should be able to finish all but the hemming in a few days.

Tuesday daylight hours are quilting time.

Wednesday I hope to have curtains hung by the end of the day. They have to hang a while before hemming. I’m leaving them a few days.

Thursday it’s back to hand quilting if I haven’t finished by then. If I have, it’s back to rug hooking. I’ve ripped out the table and mug in the corner of the “Autumn” piece I was hooking. I will be rethinking how to hook that corner.

I also have three photos of South Korea I’d like to make sketches of for some hooked pieces. Plus I have the border to finish hooking on my large South Korea rug.

Thursday I’ll also be taking my three pieces of needle work to be framed.

Friday I will be prepping for Workshop Week next week! Workshop Week is being hosted by Karen D. Miller of In The Studio. There are several teachers offering classes. I’ve signed up for four. I will have a lot of projects to finish when I’m done. I’m keeping them small, if possible. I have a lot of my own projects I want to work on.

Oops!  I’m Late!

Oops! I’m Late!

I promised y’all a post on Friday, and here it is Saturday evening!  I’ve been busy and wiped by turn. This past week has been busy.

Those of you who follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook will have seen the cushion covers I finished this week.  I knit the cream coloured ones as the front and back of a pullover sweater for myself. They are from Handcrafter Cotton. I had to resize the sweater to fit, and design my own sleeve pattern. That’s where I stopped many years ago.  So I decided enough is enough. I did not want to finish the sweater and I liked the colour to go in my living room.  Into two cushion covers it went!  A friend gave me some fabric for backing.

What really started me going was the desire to finish the cushion covers from the pieces I knit last January (2020). This yarn is a gorgeous soft bamboo.  I used the same fabric to back these as the previous cushions.

Having finished cushions, I turned my eye towards rug hooking. I watched Tracy Jamar’s retrospective of her work over the last twenty years and really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed my time with Donna Mulholland and the other ladies on Thursday.

I finished “Autumn” while on Zoom with Donna, et al, but I’m not showing it here until I’m satisfied with it. If you want to see it in its current condition you’ll have to check Jean Ottosen Studios on Instagram or Facebook.  I’m not happy with it and plan to change it until I am.

I then turned to home reorganization and decluttering.  A friend came over Friday afternoon and evening to help. She has very good spatial sense. I was impressed. I’ve only had to change a few things since she left.

Today I went for a walk with my walking buddy. We just started walking regularly this week. It’s been very good for me.  I hope it is for her too.

I’ve also been exploring new recipes with my new Instant Pot. It’s been illuminating, and yummy!

Well,, that’s been my week in a nutshell.  I didn’t get everything done I wanted to, but I did finish the cushion project. One baby step at a time!

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

I’ve had an enjoyable week with family and friends, albeit most of it long distance due to Covid restrictions. Our area of Nova Scotia is restricted to our five person bubbles right now. We included a couple of friends in our bubble. Wednesday both friends were over and we sewed and visited. It was a great opportunity for me to make headway on some projects.

I’ve had a challenging week with projects. You know how sometimes a project just eats up your time and you feel as if nothing was accomplished at the end of the day? Well the moose cushion cover has been one such project. It should have been a quick and easy project, but it hasn’t been. The machine appliqué stitch I used has been a bear to rip out. It needed ripping because the tension on my sewing machine went wonky last week. I finally sat down and dealt with it. I had also accidentally ripped the Black Watch plaid back of the cushion cover while ripping out the side seam of the cushion cover. I found a suitable patch for that. That is one project I am going to be glad to have finished!

I have also been hand sewing the binding of the Trip-Around-The-World quilt. I’m looking forward to finishing it and enjoying it on our bed.

This past weekend was taken up with other activities. Christmas is fast approaching. We, like a lot of people, are used to more social gatherings this time of year. Covid is putting an interesting twist on things. We are still having a tree decorating party, only this year it’s a house decorating party. I think we’re having at least one other person over. I also have a small cookie exchange plan in progress for closer to Christmas…with the same individual.

I am lamenting the state of my Christmas home decor. It is a mishmash of items that do not coordinate. I don’t know what I was thinking when I packed it to move! I think there will be some serious decisions made this holiday season in regards to what stays, what goes, and what comes into the house.

Well, that’s it for now. If you’ve been reading, thanks! I hope you all have a great week! Till Friday…Jean

Just Motoring Along

Just Motoring Along

Hi everyone!  I had lots of rest this past weekend. Guess I needed it. Today I’m back and eager to get back at things.

I finished sewing on hanging sleeves and Hubby hung the Old Tyme Scrappy quilt on the wall.  I hemmed my jeans. I’m done the face mask order. I’m almost finished Autumn. I’m hand sewing the binding on the Trip-Around-The-World quilt.

The cushion cover is a bear I have to face this week. It’s a mess and I have to rip about one quarter of the blanket stitch out.  I also have to fix the rip in the back.  Sigh.  Have you ever had one of those projects where nothing seems to be going right?  Well this is one of mine.

Once all those are done I want to get back to my South Korea roof tile end caps wall hanging. Hubby already has a place he wants to hang it. I’m a bit miffed with myself that it’s taken a whole year to complete one medium sized wall hanging.  But I have done many things besides it, including a major move in April. While I had it on backing and started in January, I was living in someone else’s home and didn’t want to overtake it with exploding boxes of fibre.  I did for a while anyways, the few days I searched for fibre for the piece, but I quickly packed it all away.   I found my accommodations more suited to knitting and quilting small pieces. I worked on a gorgeous appliqué quilt pattern while there! Which reminds me I still have a couple of knitted cushion covers and the appliqué quilt to finish.

Lots of projects to finish!  Looks like I’m going to get some time to do them.  Nova Scotia’s Covid-19 cases are rising again and we’re limited to our five person bubble.  I’m staying home for the most part, and working on my projects.

If you’ve been reading, thanks! And have a productive week everyone!

Running Behind

Running Behind

I’m running a bit behind the last few days. Company on the weekend was great fun! But Monday was time to prepare packages for shipping and prepare for a visit and visit a bank official. Between them and resting up from the weekend my day was shot.

A heads up. I disabled the checkout on my shop. For some reason shipping went wonky and I have no idea how to get it back to normal. Suddenly it was offering free shipping on everything, and I’m certainly NOT getting free shipping from Canada Post!

Anyone who wishes to purchase something can contact me on Facebook at Jean Ottosen Studios or email me at jeanottosenstudios@gmail.com

I did manage to fit in a bit of rug hooking between other activities. I worked on “Autumn” off and on. I’m not sure how well I like it. I’m thinking on it. This week I hope to finish hooking it.

I also have to get back to focusing on sewing. I want the binding added to my hand quilted trip-around-the-world quilt pretty badly. Plus I have jeans to hem, a moose design to appliqué to a cushion cover, and a hanging sleeve for a quilt Hubby wants to hang above our bed. Lots to do! I’ll post my progress Friday!

If you’ve been reading, thanks! Have a great week!

A Week of Remembrance

A Week of Remembrance

An update on company first. Our friend from outside the Atlantic Bubble decided to postpone her trip till Covid-19 dies down. Our house is not a good place for quarantine.  It’s too small and the upstairs is open to the downstairs with no door between.

In sewing news I’ve finished on sewing the face masks.  I just have to put the filters inside.

I also sewed the binding for my trip-around-the-world quilt. My sewing machine became jammed while I was attaching it. All sewing has stopped. This time I really do have to take my machine in for cleaning and repairs.

I have my jeans cut and pinned, but I’ve yet to hem them.

I’ve yet to appliqué the moose on my nephew’s cushion cover.

In rug hooking news, I hooked some on “Autumn”.  I’m working on the words in the piece.

I ordered a “new” Red Dot sample from Kevin LeMoine of Punch Needle Rug Hooking in New Brunswick and it arrived.  I tried it out and it’s almost exactly like the old Red Dot I used to use!  I’m put in an order quick like.  I love the thin Red Dot for transferring patterns!

What’s up this week?  I’ll be hooking and entertaining company. I’m taking part in Karen Miller’s Rug Hooking Clinic today. Plus an online hook-in on Thursday.

Plus I’ll be remembering Grampy and all the other war veterans on Remembrance Day. May those who didn’t make it home rest in peace, and those who return find peace.

I’ve been reading in the news that the Poppy campaign by the Canadian Legion is not doing too well this year due to Covid-19 restrictions. The money from the poppy campaign goes to helping veterans and their families. I encourage everyone to get out there and support the poppy campaign.

If you’ve been reading, thanks!  Have a great week!

“The Best Laid Plans…

“The Best Laid Plans…

Of mice and men often go awry.” (Robert Burns, adapted from “To A Mouse”) .

You know I planned all that sewing and rug hooking this week. Well, we had a wee surprise. A good friend out west lost her job and is struggling emotionally right now. She booked a one way ticket to Halifax to visit us without consulting us in advance.

She is not native to Canada and her grasp of English is not great. She has never lost a job before and is down because of it. We explained the Atlantic Bubble and that she’d have to do 2 weeks quarantine in the basement. We had to phone our doctor, the local 811 Covid-19 line, and check a few websites to see what is required.

Out of an abundance of caution my hubby and I have decided to self isolate at the same time as her…just in case. She arrives next weekend.

So instead of sewing and rug hooking I’ve been running around town with Hubby buying stuff to make our basement suitable for self sufficient living. We bought a small freezer because our upright one hasn’t arrived yet. We’re looking at purchasing a mini fridge, microwave and kettle as well. It’s going to be Air BnB status by the time we’re done! 😂

Because there’s no closet in the guest room we spent an entire morning in IKEA trying to find something suitable. Hubby spent yesterday afternoon and this morning building it. Looks great!

I’ve been listing items for sale on Kijiji. I may list elsewhere. I’m getting little to no response there.

To complicate matters we already had company planned for the weekend our friend decided to come. So we quickly talked to them and they, thankfully, adjusted their plans to miss her. We still have a couple of dinner engagements to bow out of during the quarantine time.

We’ll be rearranging our home to make room for her. I won’t have access to my studio for 2 weeks, as it’s in the basement. So my iMac and rug hooking will have to come upstairs. Hubby and I are trying to figure out where to put things.

My other friends and family members are not impressed. But I understand our friend needs a place to heal right now.

In sewing news, I’ve started the face masks. They are looking good. I hope to be finished by Monday.

In rug hooking news, I’ve started hooking the letters in the Autumn wall hanging from Beth Miller’s Workshop Week class. It’s slow going.

That’s it folks! Thanks for reading. 😊 Jean

Monday Musings

Monday Musings

This weekend I worked on my hooked mat from Beth Miller‘s class last week.  Here’s how far I’ve come to date.  I changed the way the words sit on the pattern to make them more readable

Friday we had our new TV installed. We’ve been without a TV for over a year now. I took the opportunity to watch Deanne Fitzpatrick’s Thursday Live You Tube video.  I also watched Textile Talks: Kaffe Fassett and Erin Lee Gafil, A Creative Conversation.  It was wonderful!  I found out about the Textile Talks during Workshop Week last week.  My TV and I will be busy the next while.

I have some sewing that needs doing. I am sewing face masks for some relatives this week.

I am also sewing a gift for my one remaining nephew who didn’t get one yet, from his Grandpy’s LL Bean shirts (see the moose appliqué at the top of this post).  Grampy passed away a couple of years ago and somehow this one nephew fell through the cracks. I managed to sew something for the other 27 people, but this young man was difficult to get ahold of during that time. You can find a video of this project under The Shirt Project May-June 2018 on my YouTube channel – Jean Ottosen.

I also have a quilt I started when I was seventeen to work on.  That was a long time ago.  I was up to a friend’s this morning for her help in cutting off a border that just wasn’t working.  It will make the quilt smaller, but it will still be a memory quilt for me.  I hand quilted 2” squares together in the Trip-Around-The-World pattern from sewing remnants of family dresses, shirts, pyjamas, nightees, etc. While at my friend’s we also prepared and cut the binding for the quilt. I am much happier about the quilt now.  This week I hope to attach the binding to the quilt.

As you can see, the bulk of this week will be sewing.  However, in the rug hooking arena I am going to be watching Nadine Flagel’s In The Studio talk on Wednesday afternoon.  I’m looking forward to hearing her approach to rug hooking.  I’m also going to be exploring some art and rug hooking links online.  I’ll let you know what I find of interest.

This afternoon I had a visitor from the Kingfisher Rug Hooking Guild in Halifax.  We had a great time chatting.  She shared where all the hook-ins normally are in our area.  Covid has shut a lot down for now.  She was very encouraging.  It was great visiting with another hooker!

If you’ve been reading, thanks!  Hit the like button and/or leave a comment.  I know you’re out there.  I can see the stats! 🙂  Take care and have a great week!

Production!

Production!

Face masks are finished!

Ken doll clothes are happening. There is a great disparity in sizes between free online patterns and commercial patterns.

Knife sheath attempt after all. Can’t get my domestic machine to sew through the suede leather, even with a leather needle. Will take moose suede to a leather worker and see what they say.

In my pile of things to finish by my chair. Notice the hooked heart hanging and coasters from February. They’ll be ready for next February.

I hope everyone has a great weekend, and a productive one. Till next time, take care everyone!

In the Making…

In the Making…

Happy Monday everyone! It’s been a productive weekend and day, primarily thanks to some unpredictable weather. Today has been raining off and on, making it a wonderful day to be in my studio.

I finished the doll clothes for the 16” Briar dolls. Here are the last few items I made. I shipped them all off Friday. I hope they all fit.

I moved onto the knife sheath. I had a chat with a friend who is a more experienced seamstress than I am and determined, after careful thought, that it just wasn’t going to work. The moose hide I have is actually quite soft. It used to be a woman’s suit jacket. I don’t think it will hold its shape well enough to hold a jackknife. I decided to make another gift for my nephew, and possibly include the moose hide in that.

I moved onto printing and cutting out the Ken doll patterns. Today I cut out all the pieces to sew. However…

I received a phone call from someone looking for the face masks this week. So I switched gears and cut out face masks. I’m in the middle of sewing them at the moment. I’m using the Olson pattern still. I use a batik quilting cotton for the front fabric, cotton sheeting for the liner, and a filter of diaper flannelette (single layer).

This weekend I decided to try selling some items on the Facebook Canada Rug Hooking Buy and Sell group. It was quite successful. I’m quite pleased with how it went. I sold several patterns. Time to update my website store to reflect the changes. I will be selling more that way.

My studio update as of Sunday? Hubby and I are slowly getting things sorted out. I went through all my rug hooking and made piles of what to mend, what to hang upstairs, and what to hang in the studio or downstairs. Basically we keep whatever is upstairs and whatever is downstairs is for sale. I sold a bin of old patterns over the weekend. Here’s the current messy, but functional, state of my studio.

Well that’s it for this weekend! I hope everyone has a great week! Take care!

Not Rug Hooking but…

Not Rug Hooking but…

I’m busy sewing doll clothes for my grandnieces and for a cousin’s daughter – one for 16” dolls and the other for Ken dolls of fashion doll fame. For the 16” doll clothes I’m using Simplicity 7644, McCall’s 8564, and McCall’s 2157. These clothes are for the Briar doll available at twigandtale.com They are available as instant downloads on Etsy. For Ken clothes I am using free patterns from Chellywood.com, plus Advance 2899, and Simplicity 5330. The first was easy to print off, the last two were instant downloads from Etsy again.

I’m currently on a sewing kick. I also have some face masks to sew and a leather knife sheath for a nephew. I might sew him something else as well.

I made all my father’s descendants a sewn item from his LL Bean shirts after he passed away. This nephew didn’t make it to the funeral, so he didn’t have a chance to speak up for anything. Eventually he said he needed a knife sheath. But Grampy’s shirts are not heavy duty enough for that. I have some moose hide from an old jacket one of my sister-in-laws gave me. I’ve decided to use that for the knife sheath. Grampy was, after all, a moose biologist.

Fast forward a couple of years and my nephew put in a request for “something” from Grampy’s shirts. I have a couple of pieces of old shirt left here and I’m going to see if I can do something for him.

Other that that, in rug hooking I have a Valentine’s wall hanging to bind, and some coasters to match. Plus I need to get back to my South Korea rug. I have designs I’d like to put on backing as well.

The studio is coming along fine. It’s usable. I still have too much stuff. I need to list some items online for sale. I’m part of a Canadian rug hooking buy and sell group on Facebook. I’ve been meaning to list items for sale there for some time.

I had Charlie put together the IKEA Havsta nesting tables and determined there was not enough room for them AND the coffee table and sofa bed we ordered. That means returning the coffee table. It’s going to be a tight squeeze in the seating area of the studio. I’m starting to reconsider having a TV down here as well.

Well that’s it for this week! I hope the Canadians reading all had a happy Canada Day! And I hope my American readers enjoy their Fourth of July!

Cheers!

Switching Gears

Good morning everyone! I’m afraid I haven’t managed to accomplish much rug hooking during this quarantine period. I finished the scrub caps. I decided to make a different bouffant cap, one more like a shower cap. I sent them on their way last week. They arrived at the hospital Monday. As far as I know, all is well.

However, since then it’s been recommended Canadians wear face masks when out in public. We have been told not to use the surgical masks or n95 masks, as those are desperately needed for health care workers. So our landlady and I sat down and sewed some trial masks for us.

We tried three different styles and finally settled on one made from a thick tight woven 100% quilters cotton, like batik, with a flannel insert. Results from a US study done in Wisconsin show it to be at least as effective as a surgical mask. Check out http://www.nbcnews/health/health-news/making-your-own-face-masks-some-fabrics-work-better-others-n117966

We are sewing masks for family, friends, and health care workers in Canada. Since starting this weekend we have sewn over fifty masks, mostly using our stashes of elastic, wire, quilting fabric and flannel. My serger has come in handy.

Our goal is to cover supply costs and shipping in this endeavour, not to profit. As such we charge nothing for health care workers, but do ask for them to cover shipping. Our family automatically gets the same deal. If, however, people feel called to contribute, we figure our costs to be about $10 CAD per mask. All payment is by e-transfer at this time. Check it out and, if you need masks contact me through this website‘s Contact page or send an email to <jo6865@gmail.com > . These masks will NOT be posted in my shop for sale because of the limited target client.

Just so you know…

Just so you know…

I haven’t totally dropped off the face of the earth! I’m here and doing fine. The last two weeks I’ve been in self-isolation because I have a cold. I still have a cough, but I’m thinking that’s related to other health issues. For now I’m up and being productive!

I offered to help a relative in the medical field with any sewing, should the hospital she works in need it. After a bit of back and forth a request came in for cloth scrub caps. So the last couple of days I’ve been designing and sewing those. I hope to have a box off to them by Friday.

I’ve also been doing a bit of rug hooking on my South Korean rug since I last posted.  But, to be honest, progress has been stalled with Covid-19 and the scrub caps.

I hope all my readers are well out there. Here in Canada our Prime Minister has invoked the Quarantine Act in an effort to get everyone to stay home and flatten the curve, reducing the burden on health care workers and hospitals. It seems to be working in British Columbia, our westernmost province. We are hoping it works across the rest of Canada.

Covid-19 has kind of messed up our plans for moving this year.  As a result of the quarantine I have postponed kitchen renovations and bathroom renovations at our new house. They are not essential. We don’t even know if it’s okay for the sale to go through. As it stands now, someone needs to go to the bank and get a bank draft to drop at the seller’s lawyer. Plus there’s a final check of the house. Plus we have to see our own lawyer. Both Hubby and I are high risk for developing Covid-19, so I’m not excited about these extra community contacts. I’d much rather we both stayed home. But we can’t live in our friend’s basement forever. While the timing may be bad, it may just be a chance we have to take. 

I’ve also decided to plant a garden this year, even if it’s just a container garden on the deck. I’m not confident about the availability of foodstuff from our local grocers. Hubby and I use online ordering to acquire food these days. They are slow at best, and didn’t have nine items on my list last time! I understand these are stressful times, but we still have to eat. I just wish people would quit hoarding so those of us who don’t can simply eat!

The decision to garden has been impacted by Covid-19 in more ways than that. Apparently everyone else has the same desire to garden this year. The main local seed store, from where I was going to order seed, temporarily shut down it’s online store due to a shortage of product. However, they plan to have it up and running again this coming week. It’s the panic over buying by some people, resulting in these interruptions in the supply chain, that is making Canadians nervous and fuelling more demand. It’s a vicious cycle.

Despite what’s going on in the world with Covid-19, I am seeing a lot of good in people and am thankful for many things. I am thankful for the skills, technology, and ability to help others. I’m thankful to have a roof over my head, food to eat, and clothes to wear. I find it useful for my mental health to look at the positive things around me…like our landlady sharing meals with us, and being able to bake with her. I am thankful that, while we’re on a fixed income, at least we have an income. And I’m thankful that I can contribute, even if in a small way.

As always, I hope this post finds my readers healthy and safe. Take care till next time…Jean

The Shirt Project

The Shirt Project

I’ve now taken to referring to all this sewing and quilting of Dad’s old L.L. Bean shirts to “The Shirt Project”.  I finished the moose wall hangings Sunday evening.  So far I am a week ahead of my overall schedule for sewing items.  That is good because the quilts may take longer than I expect.  I want to hand stitch those bindings to finish them.

Here are the finished “flying geese” pot holders.  I found a basic flying geese quilt pattern online (just google “flying geese pot holders”) and adapted it to my materials.  Each one of these has two layers of Radiantex (R) in the centre, facing outward on both sides.  That makes both sides suitable to use with hot pots and pans.  These are really designed as hot pads for the table as they have no hanging loop.  However they will serve as both pot holders and hot pads.  They are 8″ square.

And here is the table runner in various stages.  It is roughly three feet long by twelve inches wide.

Next up are four 40″ square toddler quilts.  I have designs drawn in my bullet journal and have cut out the pieces for two and a half of the quilts.  I am waiting for coordinating fabric to arrive in the mail for one of the quilts.  I had a special order for “a puppy quilt”.  Dad didn’t have any puppy shirts, so I am augmenting his shirts with some puppy fabric.  I don’t think I have enough shirt fabric for the final quilt to be similar block style to the others.  I may end up making a form of strip quilt, or something like it.  Something that will use up scraps and still look good.  But first I have to do an assessment tomorrow and see if I have enough fabric left for one hundred 4.5″ squares.

Having a great week and hope to have a better weekend.  Take care everyone!

Weekly Review – Let it Rain!

Weekly Review – Let it Rain!

Hi folks!  It’s been raining off and on this week.  We badly need it.  I am happy to see it.

I had a great time at the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair this year.  Found some friends selling their wares and chatted them up a bit.  I hope they did well.

This weekend is our multicultural festival, Mosaic.  Hubby and I were out to the Korean pavilion last night. The food was good and so was the show!  Lots of good dancers there.  Not sure yet where we’re heading tonight for Mosaic.  The weather forecast is for thunderstorms, which can be an issue here on the prairies.

I’ve spent some time fussing over the moose wall hangings made from Dad’s shirts.  The binding proved more than I could handle alone, even with YouTube videos to watch!  I called in reinforcements.  A friend came over and showed me how to do it quickly and, well, almost effortlessly.  I have one more to fix and one more to go.  Then it’s onto attaching hanging sleeves.  I hope to be done the wall hangings by Sunday evening.

After that I have potholders, a table runner, and three baby quilts to sew.  I think I’ll be leaving the quilts till last.

 

L.L. Bean fabric rocks!

L.L. Bean fabric rocks!

Okay, so mostly I’ve been sick with a cold this week.  But I did get some serious sewing done using Dad’s old L.L. Bean shirts.  I have to say the fabric quality is excellent.  Some of it is very fine cotton, but it still looks good and, backed with leftover quilt batting, an old sheet, and lined with leftover muslin, it should hold up just fine in the tote bags I’m making.

This tote is stitched in the ditch to quilt the fabrics to leftover quilt batting and an old sheet for stability.  The lining, pockets, and straps are a tight muslin that was leftover from another project. I confess I had to buy thread, because I couldn’t find mine.  I may have to buy a seam ripper too.  I have a seam that needs to be partially ripped on the tote bag yet.

Dad had interesting taste in colors and patterns.  Once his hair turned white he determined he would wear any color he wanted, and did!  All the colors of the rainbow are here except purple.  And I notice there is no black or white either.

This week I sewed eight cushion covers and one tote bag.  I have three more tote bags ready to go.  Unfortunately company is sick and sleeping in my living room, which is open to my sewing area in the dining room, so no sewing today.  I decided I will sort through boxes looking for my fusible webs for the moose wall hangings that are coming up next.

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

I have been absent for some time online.  My father passed away recently.  He was known for his bright and lively L.L. Bean shirts.  I was given (at my request) nineteen of them.  My goal is to make something for each descendant who wants something.  Right now that adds up to 23 people who want small items like cushion covers, tote bags, wall hangings, potholders, baby quilts, a table runner, and a pocketknife pouch.  Currently I am working on the cushion covers.  Eight people have requested these.  I finished four today and will do another four tomorrow.  I’ve set everything up to operate an assembly line for sewing and pressing.  I’ve had to borrow an ironing board.  I sold my big one in preparation for the move (which has been postponed), and cannot find the small one I packed…somewhere…

Aside from the sewing, I’ve been busy knitting.  I found Fleece Artist’s National Parks 150 yarn on sale at Unwind Wools in Okotoks, Alberta in mid-April and bought up as much as I thought I’d need, as it is being discontinued.  I have one taker for the hat I finished on the subsequent trip to Dad’s funeral.  The yarn is the Sable Island, N.S. colour way.  The pattern is out of an Ann Budd’s “The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns”.

Other than that, we’ve made two trips to Alberta since mid-April.  We’ve met many new people and visited with family and friends.  I thank all of them for their love and support at this difficult time.  While Dad was quite sick this past year, it was still with sadness that I heard the news he had died.  He lived a long and full life.  I am sad he is gone, but glad he is no longer suffering.  Peace be with all my readers.  Take care and have a great week! 🙂

WIP Thursday

WIP African Dream - 1

Getting there!  Almost finished hooking African Dream.

I didn’t attend Crafting this week, so no work on the knit cellular baby blanket.

I have been up in my sewing room, looking over a variety of unfinished projects, trying to decide what to work on next.  It’s time to either do some of them or pass them on.  Has anyone else felt this way?

I’m currently trying to make a video of my sewing room to show some organizational ideas but I’ve been having technical difficulties filming with my iPhone.  Must get the light working so people can see inside the closet!  I’ve also been having difficulties editing it on my MacBook Pro.  QuickTime doesn’t do what I want it to do, even though the toolbar says it can.  Hmm…time to check out QuickTime tutorials on YouTube.