Friday, September 24, 2010

I'm still plugging away in the sewing dungeon

while recuperating. I'm getting a little bit done every day...not much, but it is more than nothing (like last week) and that makes me happy.

This is what I worked on most of the week. I used machine applique that mimics hand applique - no fusing and turned under edges. I'm hoping that it will be acceptable for our guild raffle quilt...that the hand piecers won't reject it!

Everyone in the guild will need to make up some Four Patch blocks, so I thought I'd sew up a couple using fabrics from the basket block. I had them all the same in the EQ version I drew up, but I want them to be scrappy, not all the same.

Now I have to work on getting the various block instructions written up and printed off before our next guild meeting :)

I'm hoping your monitor doesn't show this picture as dark as mine is not that dark in real life!

Monday, September 20, 2010

some time in the sewing dungeon...finally!

It has been a while since I spent some quality time with my sewing machine. I was working hard on quilting so we could take down the quilting frame and move The Peanut into her room and out of the den. And then I made up some soap...and now I'm recuperating from surgery *sigh* my poor neglected machine.

This morning I went down to the dungeon and worked on Clue #2 for a mystery quilt over on You can barely see the white fabric against my design wall, but it is there.

I also cut up inspiration fabric for our guild's next raffle quilt, so everyone will have a color palette to work with.

For more inspiration visit Patchwork Times and drool over the many design walls posted there!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The soap is cut

I cut the soap and have it set aside to "cure"

Soap needs to spend some time sitting as the saponification finishes up and extra moisture evaporates out. The soap CAN be used right away, but as it cures, it becomes milder.

I wish I could provide smell-a-vision for you, this soap smells so lovely and clean:

The Cedar and Sage soap is lovely, the Three Kings special soap is rather lumpy and will NOT win any awards for beauty:

The soap smells lovely and is hardening up nicely. It will also darken a bit as there is some vanilla in the scent blend which always turns soap brown.

I will have to postpone making more soap for a few more days as I am recovering from gall bladder surgery...probably won't be sewing/quilting much either for the next bit of time...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Making Soap

today I made a bit of soap...this is Cedar and Sage sitting nicely in the mold. I will unmold and cut it tomorrow. The recipe behaved beautifully. The specks are parsley...I thought they would give a good look to the soap. Parsley is one of the very few things that retains it's color in the saponification  process. Most other botanical items turn brown.

I also made a small test batch for a customer.  He wants a more moisturizing soap, so I cut WAY back on my coconut  oil, used both cocoa butter AND shea butter (in higher percentages) and superfatted a bit. This second batch overheated and grew out of the tube.

You can see that it even cracked on the top. I stuck that baby in the refrigerator to cool it down and it stopped  growing at 1" above the disposable mold. I have to admit that I unmolded this one  WAY early as it was already pretty hard at 6 hours and I wanted to see what was going on inside. The plastic lining on my disposable soap mold (AKA Pringles can) bubbled with the heat and left me with moon crater soap  that smells lovely and I'm hoping will be delightful on the skin - so who cares how it looks?

I miscalculated on my  test batch and so I will have two weird shaped soaps...should have put some rope in them so The Army Guy could have soap-on-a-rope. These are 3oz bathroom cups that I had handy when I realized that I had too much soap :)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

After a week of quilting, I'm ready to take the frame down

The Peanut has been sleeping in our den since she came home from school. The quilt frame takes up her whole bedroom, so she can't use her room until the frame comes down.

Today I quilted the last quilt of the week. I have to be done because I am almost out of batting (I guess I could do a couple of baby quilts if I had the tops ready). The frame will come down this weekend (maybe Monday).

I think I will name this one
These Are a Few of My Favorite Batiks because they are. Some of these I'd been hoarding for a while and didn't want them to go into just any project.

I'm thinking this might end up being my "retreat" quilt. The one I take along to cover my bed. Last time I didn't even think to bring a quilt and I was the only one *blush* without a quilt on my bed.

On this quilt I thought I'd try a free motion feather all over design. I'm very tickled with how it turned out. I will be using this on other quilts in the future...after I find a new home for the quilt frame!