Knitty Bear

Yesterday was the first non-rainy weekend day in quite awhile. So I took the opportunity to walk down to the salon for my hair appointment.

According to my map app, it was a distance of 3.7 miles. Totally doable. So I set off. I didn’t have a specific route in mind, but I knew generally how to get there.

My path took me down a street that I don’t normally traverse, either on foot or in the car.

A significant advantage of walking, I’ve found, is that you see things that you would otherwise miss. My great find of the day was this image painted on a garage door.

Bear mural

 

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So Many Rosettes

Since I first posted about making Grandmother’s Flower Garden rosettes just over two years ago, I’ve been working steadily, first piecing individual rosettes, then putting them together into what will eventually become a queen-size quilt.

The other day when I spread out the work-in-progress on my bed, I saw that I am perilously close to being done.

garden quilt

In fact, I’ve made more rosettes than will be needed. But I was a little short on the two different half-blocks needed for the side and top/bottom edges.

rosettes

There’s a good chance that the extra rosettes will end up in pillows. I could use them in a second floral Flower Garden quilt, but I don’t like to repeat myself. I am certain that I will continue to make rosettes for a second quilt, but I think I will pull out my bin of batik fabrics for it.

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Variations on a Kitty Block

Some time ago, I made three Kitty blocks using Elizabeth Hartman’s design.

Then I made five additional versions.

kitty blocks

A couple weeks ago, I finally got around to putting them together into a small quilt, but I needed one more for a total of nine. If I’d been a little more ambitious, I might have come up with a sixth variation. But I didn’t feel like taking the time, so I just repeated one of the patterns.

Add some sashing and sashing squares, and another little Linus quilt was done.

kitty quilt copy

 

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My French Fabric

When my husband and I visited my daughter in Paris in mid-2016, I made a point of finding a fabric shop and purchasing some uniquely French fabric. I wanted something unlike anything I could find at home in Seattle.

I bought a roll of 19 precuts, each of which was approximately 10″ x 21″ — about the same size as a fat eighth.

Since then, they have been sitting on a shelf, waiting for me to decide what to do with them.

I wanted to find a block that had the word “French” in it. About the only thing an internet search turned up was the French braid design. But I also found some photos on Pinterest of a star design using the French braid technique.

pinterest

I drafted my own block, trying out a couple of versions with different strip widths and number of strips in each braid. I wanted to use my fabric as least wastefully as possible.

french star 2

This week, I sewed the first four blocks.

French star

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Getting Back To It

I was aware that it had been awhile since my last post, but it was a little surprising to see that six months have passed. Sometimes day-to-day life has a way of filling up all one’s time.

Anyway, those six months have been filled up with many activities, not least of which has been watching my grandson learn to crawl, and then cruise, and recently start walking.

Occasionally, I still manage to get in some sewing.

My latest quilt for Project Linus was actually finished a few weeks ago, and until today was still up on my design wall. But today I finally got around to photographing it and taking it down.

Sherbet quilt

This is a variation on a quilt called “Sherbet Punch” from Quilting with Fat Quarters.

The original instructions call for 20 fat quarters, but the bundle of fat quarters I wanted to use had only 16. Actually, it originally had 24, but I had pulled out several for use in my ongoing Grandmother’s Flower Garden project.

I had picked up these fat quarters at the Portland Quilt Market in May 2018. They were from a fabric line from Windham Fabrics called Cottage Joy.

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Icelandic Skyr

On the last night of our road trip around Iceland last month, we stayed at a working farm called Eftstidalur. It’s a working dairy farm which in 2002 opened a restaurant and added overnight accommodations in response to a growth in tourism, according to their website.

At breakfast, there was a large bowl of something called “skyr.” A small placard  informed me that it was made fresh from cow’s milk produced there at the farm. Next to the bowl was a stack of small pancakes and a little pitcher of syrup. I took a pancake, added a dollop of skyr, and drizzled some syrup on top.

It was very tasty!

I texted my sister, who had happened to have been in Iceland about a month earlier, to ask her if she had had the opportunity to try it. She had seen skyr offered at breakfast, but had not sampled it. She did tell me, however, that it is available in the United States.

An aside here: Technically, skyr is a cheese, because rennet is used to make it. But because of its consistency and texture, which is more like sour cream, it is often called a yogurt. However, it is very mild in flavor, neither tart like yogurt nor sour like sour cream. It is higher in protein and lower in fat than yogurt, and also lactose-free.

After we returned home, I did an internet search to see where it might be available locally. I was pleased to see that it is stocked at several nearby grocery stores, including the one we usually shop at.

The most common brand, Siggi’s, offers plain and vanilla in 24-ounce tubs and a variety of flavored skyr in 5-ounce containers. The plain variety has now replaced vanilla yogurt in my breakfast granola.

It is also proving to be the avenue for my grandson to solid food.

Approaching eight months in age, he was not keen on the whole concept of spoons and baby food. So about a month ago, one Thursday afternoon while my daughter was over for a visit, I proposed that we try giving him some skyr, on the theory that he would find its mild flavor sufficiently inoffensive.

My daughter and I set ourselves in chairs across from each other, me holding the baby on my lap. We each had a few spoonfuls of skyr, expressing great delight, to demonstrate proper eating technique. When I first offered it to little Gage, he refused it, shaking his head from side to side. His mom suggested that I put a little dab on his lip. I did so, which allowed him to get a little taste.

In short order, not only was he opening his mouth to accept small spoonfuls, but he was even leaning forward! To say that his mother was thrilled is an understatement.

skyr

 

 

 

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Backyard Flowers

The crocuses, daffodils, and tulips if the front yard are long gone. Now, it’s the back yard that is full of color.

There are two kinds of lavender . . .

lavender stalks

English and . . .

spanish lavender

Spanish.

Two kinds of poppies . . .

poppy in lettuce

California and . . .

icelandic

Icelandic.

The rose bush is blooming . . .

pink rose

as is one of the peony bushes.

white peony

The other peony bush is just showing buds.

peony buds

I don’t know what this plant is, just that the leaves are very pungent.

purple flower

And some of the lettuce seeds I planted in April bypassed the leafy stage and went straight to flowering.

lettuce flower

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