Thursday, August 06, 2009

It may have just let up...

It's been raining almost continually for the past 3 days and, much as we need it, right now I'm longing for some sunshine to balance it off. I don't know about you, but I seem to run out of energy more quickly when the skies are dark and gloomy. If's certainly easier to fall prey to my "demons" when the rain can't seem to let up. To compound the sense of darkness, the sun is already rising a lot later the past few mornings. I mean, I figure if I get up at 6:00 a.m., the sun should be there to greet me!

But enough Pity Party-ing. What have I been exploring to keep my spirits up? Well... something old and something(s) new.

First, in honour of the First Annual Sock Summit, which I'm not attending, I'm sock! Sorry; no photo. It's a variegated greens-and-browns, the second of a pair, being knit up for C, a friend from church. She chose the yarn, which is always a nice thing -- knitting without having to buy the yarn, that is. Actually, this pair of socks is simply one of the five pair I have on the go.

Second, on Monday I went to a local "U-Pick" farm -- Billyco Junction -- for Saskatoons. A fairly new operation, their Saskatoons won't be ready until next year, but I did pick five pounds of strawberries! As a result,

This... Became this...

Which became this... And finally, these...

It's been a few years since I've made strawberry jam, and then, it was always from store-bought berries. The quality, the scent, the sweetness of these fresh-from-the-patch is so much better! And when the rain lets up...I'll be off to find similar bounty in the form of Saskatoons!

Third, on the quilting front, I've been playing catch-up with my online class, "The Quilter's Palette", from Annie's Quilting Stash. The main reason? Fear of paper piecing! Yep, I've tried this technique several times; I've attended
demonstrations of it, a full in-person class on it, and makes my brain hurt! This time, though, the quilt I'm making is so gorgeous that I just had to sign up and give it one more try. I continue to find paper piecing a real challenge -- particularly the first 2 pieces. I get easily turned around and tend to transpose pattern pieces and fabric. This time, I took even more time than usual to figure things out, and ended up ripping out a few times -- and tossing fabric into the scrap bag! -- but I persevered. What helped most was the detailed notes I took from the class, combined with remembering the simple fact that the paper side of the piece is the wrong side. I've managed to finish one (of eight) "Sunburst" semi-circles and two (of four) pieces of the "Thistle Blossom Block" -- and I'm pretty proud of myself!

What's next? Well...I'm waiting for my painted Tyvek (R) to dry...and then it's off to apply some heat and some stitching. This is all part of my Lesson 1 homework for my latest online class: Tyvek Explorations at More later!

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