Monday, June 19, 2017

Summer on the Porch and Other Things

This is our front porch.  We purchased 6 of the trough planters and railing brackets at Fleet Farm. 

3 planters in a mossy green that matches our house color, and 3 in medium gray to match Jon's Mom Betty's house.  I filled them with purple and yellow wave pansies, short yellow marigolds, and bib lettuce. 

Perfect spot for lunch time meal, usually a salad for me.  Many times I sit at this rocking chair to do hand sewing projects--like sewing bindings on scrappy over-sized potholders. 

All together I made 4 dozen oversized potholders last month.  They sell well at craft shows. 
100% cotton prints and batting, washable. 

I spent the month of May downsizing and sorting through 4 Large Bins of Fabric Scraps. 

Much of the fabric scraps I gave to a friend who weaves rugs, and I used leftover quilt blocks and cotton batting to build dozens of oversized potholders. 

Multiply this pile of 2.5 scraps by 100 and you'll have an idea what 4 full storage bins of scraps looks like. 

Ever Growing Piles of Scrap Fabric and Why They Grow:

As I finish a quilt project I always have leftover quilt blocks, and lots of  2.5" wide strips.  The fabric scrap bins were getting ridiculously full.   

I used the leftover quilt blocks --sewing padded purses and cell phone carriers that I sell at craft shows. 

Often I combine hand stitched wool penny medallions for decoration

This is my design--I created the carriers with  a large swivel metal clip-on to attach to the waistline, or at the neckline.   

Back to the flower troughs--marigolds, pansies, and bib lettuce . . .

Its been a great year for munching, harvesting bib lettuce on the porch.  I'll be using these trough planters many years and I can see already--they'd be great for planting fresh cooking herbs.  Nice!

From my three planter boxes I harvested. 

This is what I love to eat for lunch everyday.   Lettuce with yellow peppers and bits of sweet onion, sliced white mushrooms, blackberries, two ounces of dill cheese, a few croutons, and not shown drizzle with dressing, a raspberry balsamic vinegar.  

 There is an amazing tea and vinegar store in Stevens Point called Diversi-Tea.  Yummy.  I've tried the strawberry, blueberry, but raspberry balsamic is my favorite!  Great marinade for chicken too!

Second rocking chair - Front Porch

East Porch (summer kitchen entrance)

East Porch
As I was planting the flowers--I labeled each trough planter with name tags, so Jon would take the just the gray planters I made up for his Mom Betty.  

Actually the gray and green planters are difficult to see a  color difference in the bright outdoor light. 



Ok--back to my story about downsizing and sorting scrap fabrics . . .

Last week, I used some leftover quilt blocks to build a couple of padded purses.  I was looking through the scrap bins hoping to find dozens of  flying geese blocks I made back in 2013 for my Circus, Circus quilt.  

After sorting and downsizing the bins for two weeks I didn't see any flying geese blocks.  What???   I made dozens of them.  Where are the flying geese blocks?????

The flying geese blocks were hiding in the BOTTOM of this basket, topped off with rolls of 6-8" lengths of 2.5" wide fabric strips sewn end to end. 

I randomly selected four flying geese blocks and made a padded purse, then added more UFO blocks and leftover blue quilt binding . . .

First part of making a padded purse . . .

Finished Purse
Featuring hand made polymer clay beaded zipper pull . . .

 The best part of this purse is its padded exterior, and padded pocket. 

Padding is a good feature when you want to carry and protect your cell phone.  Underneath that pocket is a HIDDEN POCKET--a place to hide a passport, or folded receipts you don't want swimming around in your purse
I used only a small amount of those flying geese blocks for my Circus, Circus Quilt, 2013. 

I cannot explain to you why I make so many extra blocks.  The Circus, Circus quilt I made up as I went along--adding this and that.  What I really wanted in this quilt was COLOR COLOR.  

For me, the design process is--I get an idea, and build quilt blocks and use what I need, store the rest for other projects.  Lately, I've been using a little bit of math to better plan my quilt tops and art panels for the backing.  I'm attempting not to make too many extra blocks. 
I used a few of those flying geese blocks to create front of this Navy Corduroy Upholstery laptop carrier.  It was experimental, free motion quilting, and beading.

While sorting through scrap fabric bins  I found one hunk of this upholstery fabric left--a fabric I loved and made lots of purses from.  I was sad to see it go. 

There wasn't enough to build a full purse, and certainly not enough to make cross-body straps.  But I was sure I could combine other fabrics and build something fun!  I added two cotton fabrics to the margins, free motion quilted it to a layer of cotton batting and decorative cotton living. 

Built a padded pocket for the interior, with secondary hidden pocket beneath.  Added hand made polymer clay beaded zipper pull, a wool medallion hand stitched with seed beads, and finished off with batik orange/yellow appliqued circles.  This is a full meal, all the bells and whistles.  Anything more and I would have ruined it.  I almost did.  Ha. Ha.


Hope you have a great day.  Ugh, I have to do some laundry before I get to sew today.  Bummer.

Drop me a line.  Tell me about your summer . . . . please.

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