3/25/20

Irish Spring

My "senior hours" grocery shopping excursion exhausted me yesterday. Maybe just submitting to the label of "senior" was enough to make me feel ten years older...or maybe it was the ridiculousness of panic buying. Hard to say, but I was tired and took a nap after lunch. I had a few minor housekeeping chores to do, but then made my way into the sewing room to pick-up again on this nearly-forgotten project started last year.

This year's goal is to finish up the many quilts to be quilted, and the many quilt blocks that need sewing into a quilt shop. Last year's quest was to use more scraps. I did knock off quite a few last year, but I'm pretty sure I ended 2019 with more scraps than when I started. To that end, I decided to start this triple Irish chain quilt...a favorite pattern of mine...using the smallest of my scraps. I know this can be done with strip-piecing, but I'm trying to use of those itty-bitties, and so I'm cutting mine piece by piece. Yesterday's effort meant cutting 156 of these 2 x 2-inch squares.


It's surprising how fast this goes, but it still took quite a bit of what remained of my sewing day. I'm picking randomly from my red, orange, blue, and purple scraps. Any piece that can't be cut into a 2 x 2-inch square is getting added to a zip-lock bag for a friend who makes crafty items with little bits of fabric. Smitty helped me keep it random by mixing things up as I went.


He's keeping one laser turned on at all times in order to detect Sadie movements in the room. Sometimes she sneaks up on him and tries to hug him by throwing her front leg around his neck. She gets her cooties all over him, and he hates that.

When I had all the little squares cut, I sewed together the first of three blocks. (I'll need four "blanks" for this row as well.)


When I finished that, I realized I'd sewn the first four blocks together wrong. They should all have a white patch where I've indicated in the image below.


I checked to see if I'd done them all wrong...yes, of course I did. So I'll have to fix those. I fixed one yesterday, and it wasn't too difficult to cut out the patch of color and exchange it for a white one. I'll get the other three fixed before I get back to work on the second row of blocks.


That's where I left off yesterday. It was time for dinner and time to stir my sourdough starter. When I looked at it this morning, I had some bubbling action going.


I'll keep stirring it today, and after dinner, I'll give it some more flour and pineapple juice. I've mentioned the use of pineapple juice before, but if you're wondering about that, here's the explanation. It seems some kitchens are inhabited by a microorganism that inhibits the growth of yeast. My kitchen seems to be one of these, and when I tried getting a starter going, it would go gangbusters for a few days, and then turn soupy and die. After doing some reading, I discovered this pineapple juice method. The acid in the pineapple juice inhibits the growth of the bad bugs, while encouraging growth of the yeasties. You can read the science behind this right here. It's something to keep in mind, and you can find the method I'm using for making this starter right here. Also, in my travels over the internet yesterday, I found this article from Food & Wine, entitled An Extremely Chill Beginner's Guide to Sourdough. If you'd like to give this a try, I can recommend the article.

Yesterday I finished off the embroidery on the ninth snowflake.


For this morning's slow stitching, I'll add the beads. Wherever you see a little circle in the image above, a bead will go there, including a few more. By tomorrow, this one should be finished. And that means, I'll be tracing out the next block for the Appalachian Memories quilt today. It'll be good to get back to some of the projects that were left behind while we traveled this winter.

The sun is shining this morning. Rain isn't supposed to start up until around 2:00 p.m. I'm going to get out and do some weeding this morning. Oh my...there are a lot of weeds. All I can say is, baby steps. I've told myself I'll spend an hour each day plugging away at them. At that pace, I can do the whole yard, and then start back at the beginning. By then, it should look as if I haven't pulled any at all.

8 comments from clever and witty friends:

QUILTING IS BLISSFUL, DI said...

Thanks for the smile--about the weeds--that is how I feel about housework--by the time I get to end of my list--I have to start at the beginning again!!
love the snowflakes--
have fun stitching--
luv, di

Julierose said...

that sure is a lot of cutting..but good job using up those scraps;))
We are strangely tired most of these days; I think the stress builds up
with this virus always on our minds...
Rain again today and grayness...that doesn't help either...
hugs, Julierose

Linda said...

Commenting on your previous post, I love the change of buttons on the inchy! And I think the thread choices on the current snowflake are beautiful. If I commented on everything I think in my head while reading your posts, I'd be writing even longer paragraphs, so just know that I love your posts and projects.
We need to go into town to get coffee. We thought we were clever in ordering from Amazon in plenty of time but forgot to allow for delays in shipping. Senior hours begin at 6am in our small town 30 minutes away, so no thank you. ;)

piecefulwendy said...

I have to say, had I missed those squares in those blocks, I would've put them in time out - ha! Glad you'll be able to fix them fairly easily. Thanks for the tips on the sourdough. I don't have pineapple juice, but will keep that in mind as I think my kitchen might be one of those too. I'm making a no knead bread today, but I think it may not work since I didn't have instant yeast. It will be edible, I think. Might work good for bread pudding or maybe croutons, if it doesn't turn out.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Weeds! I want to look the other way..so I do for now. Way to cold to mess with weeds right now and rain is on the way her too. 3 days worth. Maybe more. I admire anyone that can stitch those tiny blocks together with all seams matching. I thought I heard you tooting your horn until you found those white block errors. Oh well. Keep calm and stitch on.
xx, Carol

SJSM said...

You and the Golden Gate Bridge! Once they get from one end to the next it is time to start again. Talk about job security. Did you know the bridge is done in primer? When new it was supposed to be painted but they never got the color on so it is primer colored. Now it is the traditional color and will stay that way. I do spend time in the sewing room sewing. I’m so happy to be done with taxes I can dance! I try to exercise, clean a little and sew each day. Some days my neighbors and I do "social distance. Walking and catch up on chatting. We have had rain showers from time to time. Our walk was cut short due to the rain. 6 more masks to do then the sewing room is all mine.

Claire said...

Sourdough, I love it! However, keeping up with the growth of the starter has me eating more bread than I need. Not a good thing for one living alone. You have some fun projects going.

Kate said...

The snowflake embroidery turned out beautifully! Good luck with the Irish Chain blocks. Hopefully the restitching won't take you too long.