Saturday, August 13, 2011

Retirement Can be Wonderful!

I couldn't find my camera!  I looked for several days only to find it today in a place I'd already looked! I wrote this post over a week ago but wanted to post the pics with it!

I've spent the past few days as I envisioned them when I thought about retirement. I've been sewing and making jelly.

But first an update on my goals.  I finished both tops in a manner of speaking.  The dolls:

Remember this:

 It's been reduced to blocks.

 I examined all the blocks and some seams that hadn't failed in the wash were fraying badly.  I didn't want to put the time into repairing them so I removed the embroidered blocks and put the rest in the scrap bag.  I remember being in a rush to get the quilt finished and I wasn't in love with the setting.  My original intent was to set it with red, but I swear it fought me every step of the way.  It obviously doesn't want to be purple either.  Maybe I'll try blue next time.

I also completed the African Log Cabin top.  I love Log Cabin blocks and this is one of my favorite settings:

For the curtains I've planned a valance that's 12" deep with a ruffle above the rod and embroidered sewing motifs around the bottom..  I've done the measurements and chosen the Redwork designs.  Yesterday I printed them out and now I need to decide placement.  I'm measuring twice so hopefully I'll only have to do this once!

I read lots of blogs.  And they can be either a source of inspiration of the cause of trouble.  A couple of weeks ago Araignee wrote about solar dyeing.  I've got fleece, dyes, a deck and Lord knows we had loads of sunlight and heat.

Since I decided at the last minute to try it, I did three jars and one of them was plastic.  I'd planned to do 2 jars, but I had dye left over.  One jar has a failed dye experiment from last year.  I tried to use Japanese Indigo from the yard, but I never got any color at all.  I dyed it blue.  The other jars have some Romney from the bags I got earlier this summer.  I tried to wash individual locks, but forgot to put the locks in the netting so as soon as the locks hit the water they fell apart.  I had blue dye left, but also wanted to try some immersion dyeing so I added yellow to both jars.  One jar more successfully than the other.  Here are the results:

 Failed experiment from last year:

Since the last time I was here, I also washed 2 more fleeces, weeded the flower beds and a bunch of other stuff I can't remember.

We ran out of jelly at breakfast last week.  No big deal, just put it on the list.  I remembered I'd been planning to make apple jelly anyway and this seemed like a perfect opportunity.  I made the "Easy Apple Jelly" from the Ball book recommended by Miss Ginny.  Easy because instead of making the juice you use store bought.  I had some in the fridge from the last time the kids visited.  It was as easy as the title implied.  What is it with canning jars?  They don't last a hot minute on Craig's List and the stores seem to be selling out as soon as they come in.  I'm going to assume it's because of the economy and people are looking to save money where they can.  I also did  salsa and apple grape jelly.  I've a ways to go before I am as prolific as Miss Ginny, but I've made a start.  ETA:  Harold says to tell you he can't figure out which flavor he likes best.

On the sewing front, I made a top.  We went out with friends for crabs on Sunday and I didn't have a thing to wear.  I hate to shop for clothes and shopping was the alternative.  I'm not whining about my weight today but the thought of shopping in this heat drove me crazy.  Yes, I realize stores are air conditioned, as is my car, but I swear it's too hot pull stuff on and off. It's also the end of the season and there's little left in my size and it's all black.  Not in this heat! This is a quick top.  I bought the patterns at JoAnn's last sale.  It will be a combination of two.  Both patterns have the handkerchief hem, but the bodices and lengths are different.  One bodice is absolutely scandalous.  I know because I forgot I'd bought the second pattern for the bodice and made it. Y'all my mama's still alive, there's no way I could wear it.  The second is more of a bandeau top and even then I had to enlarge it.  I also added a zipper to the left side. It's cute and cool to wear.

McCalls 6113:

As usual I've written a book!




Araignee said...

Wow! You've been busy!
The colors of your solar dyed fiber is really lovely. I didn't think of adding different colors in the same jar. As soon as the sun comes back out to stay for a while, I'm going to have to try that!

Sheila said...

Awesome projects and the doll topper looks great.

Elaray said...

I plan to retire in June 2012 – sooner if the school year goes badly. I'm appointing you my Official Retirement Sewing Mentor! I hope to finally have time for more quilting and soap making. Good work!

Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

1. The Best thing you did was buy that book :o)
2. You have already learned that jars get scarce about this time of year ...everyone is canning.
3.Your Craft skills are great..don't lose them.
4. Soon you will wonder how you held a job with all you have to do :o) (that's retirement :o).

Spinster Beth said...

Oh what a fun retirement this sounds like! It all looks fabulous, especially the quilttops.
I have recently solar-dyed using Kool Aid. It worked out exceptionally well except for yesterday's batch ... the weather was supposed to be 88 and didn't get anywhere near that. Lots of spots in that skein.

Enjoy yourself!

Two Cables and a Frapp said...

Busy, busy, busy ! Okay, I love the angel blocks and the African Log Cabin quilt ! Very nice. I've always been afraid to make my own jelly. I may try it next year. You make it sound easy. In terms of the dyed fleece I think you are showing failure and success. Don't laugh but how can you tell. Actually all four photos look as though after spinning they would make nice yarn. How can you tell ? I love the McCalls pattern. Very nice. Enjoy !

Lisa H. said...

Wow! You have been busy! I recently started quilting and I am delighted to see yours. They are wonderful.

Sharon said...

Girl, you wrote several books and you have challenged me to keep track of what you just said.

What I remember is loving the African log cabin. I love those colors - they are the colors of the house sparrows at our bird feeders.

And I love the top you sewed. I'm pretty much of the opinion that I need that pattern. I think it's the answer to my "special" fabric.

danielle said...

I love your top! Are those magnolias?
I wish I could find a recipe for a Dutch Apple Jelly we use to buy in NJ....