Three things making me smile

I felt a bit weepy as I watched my husband heading to a band rehearsal after 465 days. There are still details to work out before the music can be shared but it is a start. It was good to see him so happy to be heading out.

My peonies are blooming. First the white, soon the pink. They smell so good and those ruffled leaves are just beautiful. I have had these plants for many years and they seem very happy in my garden. Best of all, the voles that have plagued my vegetable beds do not seem interested in these plants.

Image from Farmer’s Daughter Fibers

Saturday is Knit in Public Day. I am not sure what that might look like for me but maybe a bench at the park if the rain holds off? Also, I am a fan of Farmer’s Daughters Fibers. I got a beautiful skein of yarn from this shop and have signed up for their sock club.

Use your beautiful colors

starting with my favorite colors – yellow and orange

Yesterday I had a fun chat with about fabric and quilting and jumping in with a new quilt project. This morning I woke up thinking today is the day to tackle my own fabric stash.

I am pretty good about getting rid of fabrics I don’t love. And I don’t really keep a lot of small scraps, generally nothing smaller than 4”. I can make scrappy quilts because I buy a lot of fat quarters or smaller cuts. There comes a time when some of those pieces are too fussy to cut so out they go.

I also have “too precious syndrome” – can’t use that piece because it is the last of it and what if I can’t find it again. Truth be told, I won’t ever look for it again. I might look a bit but I will probably find something else that I love even more.
This month, I am diving into my fabric bins and cutting. I am planning to go color by color, cutting squares from most of the fabrics in each bin. These will mostly become my quilt making favorite – half square triangles. I am also draw to the economy square I have been seeing on blogs and Instagram. Both are very useable blocks and perfect for scrap quilts.

My goal is to get through these bins by the end of the month. You can see the yellow/orange bin (middle left) is almost empty. I am also collecting pictures for inspiration because July will a great month for a new quilt. *Disclaimer – I have a few bins of reproduction fabric that won’t be part of this process and a few larger bins with bigger cuts to use for borders and backing. I would love to get my entire stash on hand down to 12 bins. I know it is an arbitrary goal but for me, too much is more overwhelming than not enough.

What not to wear?

Do you remember that show? I was always a bit uncomfortable watching the hosts tear apart the guest’s wardrobe but I knew it was probably set up in a lot of ways that added to the drama.

We have had one of those weeks. The kind where the weather goes from 48 degrees, rain and cold, to 80+ and stifling. I would prefer a bit more time for easing into the temperature changes. One day I was wearing sweaters and wool socks and the next day I was looking for tank tops and fans.
And, because we have been at home for such a long time, I realized that I don’t have a lot of options for this kind of weather swing. Thankfully, I have some fabric and a new book and some ideas about a warm weather uniform. Now, if I could just remember where I put that box of short sleeve tops when I simplified my closet.

I hear the rain and cooler weather will be returning soon. Maybe what I need is a roller coaster wardrobe!
Happy Friday.

two books and a bag

I started this book, then returned it to the library, then checked it out again because there was something there, in those first chapters, that was calling me back. It was a good choice because I loved this book so much. I am hesitant to say that about books, I mean, what if I loved it but you think, not so much. But this one (and the next) captured my heart and my head. What did I love about it? The characters were complicated (some will think a few of them unlikeable) and yet I wanted them to work it out. This book jumps around in time and it absolutely works for this story. I think Maggie O’Farrell is moving to the top of my favorite authors list.

I put this one on hold before it was published in the states because it is on the Women’s Prize shortlist and those Sunday knitting readers are a strong influence. The ebook came up just as I was falling in love with This Must Be The Place so I almost put in a delay on delivery but I decided to read a few chapters and see if I wanted to continue. The answer was yes. For a few days I read Maggie in the morning and Claire in the evening. Then I gave TMBTP my full attention before returning to the story of Jeanie and Julius, 51-year-old twins who have just lost their mother and their world is in a spin. What did I love about this book? Again, complicated characters that climbed into my heart and asked me to really listen to their story.

And then there is the bag. I have talked about this at some point. I bought the fabric (waxed canvas) a few years ago. I knew it would be a small tote/purse. I had the lining, the zippers, the straps, and the hardware. But it all felt so precious. I had enough for two bags and my daughter made her version last summer on a day when I sat in a chair and watched. Last week, she returned the favor. She sat in that same chair with her knitting and cheered me on. I almost used a different strap but the yellow on the orange is so cheerful. I have been using this bag all week and it is perfect. This is the Pepin tote although I changed the dimensions of mine.

Three things, Thursday, linking up with Carole.