Friday Favorites 49

Friday, February 3, 2023

Happy Friday! It's time for another Friday Favorites post! Catch up on previous posts here: Friday Favorites Archives

- I recently bought a happy pack from artist Heidi Moreno and these are two of the postcards that were in my pack. I'll admit I shed a few tears when I pulled out the bunny one. They immediately got framed and hung on the wall in our kitchen. Tomorrow marks two years since we lost George bunny, I can hardly believe it's been that long.

- I love this quilty art print by Sophie McPike.

- This new book* on sewing clothes by Amelia Greenhall and Amy Bornman looks really cute!

- We've made this sandwich a few times in the past month with heirloom tomatoes and it's been a little magical slice of summer in the middle of winter. The only thing we don't add is the chile oil.

- I really wanted to give making english muffins from scratch another try. I used this recipe from Bigger Bolder Baking and they turned out great!

- My hellebores are sending up buds!! I love how early these bloom, can't wait for them to open up.

- Hilary Goodwin shared the backstory of her best in show 2020 Vision Quilt, it's really worth a read!

- This post by Colleen Molen (and the conversations in the comments) about fabric consumption really spoke to me.

- I've really enjoyed the content from Cassie Stephens (@cassie_stephenz) and her recent video on repurposing dried out glaze caught my eye. Beautiful projects made with something that could have gone to waste!

- We binged the first season of Only Murders in the Building over the weekend, and loved it! I love mystery shows and this was a great mix of mystery and funny.

- Kitten was playing in an empty laundry basket this week, here she is about to jump towards me! :)

Have a Great Weekend!

*Note: Any links marked with an asterisk in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click through and buy something, I make a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

Rainbow Drawstring Bag Advent Calendar

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Happy Wednesday! Today I wanted to share my finished rainbow drawstring bag advent calendar!

Back in November, I had the idea to make a second drawstring bag advent calendar, this time one specifically to use for a tea advent! (see my first calendar here: Drawstring Bag Advent Calendar) There are a lot of ready-made tea advent calendars you can buy, but I liked the idea of this one being reusable and also that I could use teas I already have. My intentions were good, but sadly I didn't finish the bags until this month. That's okay though. I decided I can do it anytime I want, or even just wait until next December.

I wanted this calendar to be simpler than my first one. I knew I wanted to use non-holiday fabrics for it and quickly settled on using food/fruit themed fabrics. I have a large collection of these types of prints, so it was fun to dive into my stash and choose 24 different prints. I also decided not to number them. I didn't want to compete with the prints, and I liked that it would give some additional flexibility.

I also decided to make the most streamlined bags I could. I used my Lined Drawstring Bag Pattern and the Expansion Pattern. These are all the tiny size, but without the gussets. I used easy going variation from the expansion pattern and used a single fabric for the outside of each bag. These changes made the bag construction much faster!

Here they are, all together! I love how cheerful and colorful they look. Again, since these are made with non-holiday fabrics I feel like they could be used as a little countdown calendar to many different things! I have a feeling they're going to get a lot of use.

I finished them all off with paracord, since again this is the easiest thing to use for the ties when making this many in my opinion. I went with white, which I carry in my shop.

I love seeing all these different fabrics used. Some I purchased in 2022, and there is one that I've had since 2007!! A real time capsule of my stash. Clearly I've always loved food fabrisc!

My storage/display plan for this calendar is to use a basket or bin to hold them. Now I just need to fill them up with tea! :)
Happy Sewing!

Friday Favorites 48

Friday, January 27, 2023

Happy Friday! It's time for another Friday Favorites post! Catch up on previous posts here: Friday Favorites Archives

- This week's fabric pull is all lawn fabrics! I thought this would be a great start for a lawn quilt.

- In love with this Fragments quilt by my friend Deedrie LaFollette! She also shared a breakdown of her time and costs for making this quilt which is really interesting.

- These valentine's lined drawstring bag kits from Bunbury Fabrics are so cute!

- Just downloaded the Jesse Tee pattern by True Bias. If you sign up for their newsletter, you'll get a coupon code to get this pattern for free! So sweet.

- I finally made the almond cookies from this book*. I have been wanting to make them for a while and they didn't not disappoint. Great flavor and they're crispy on the edges but still soft and chewy in the middle!

- Another beautiful fabric collection by my friend Anna Graham is on the way, Riverbend ships in August!

- I'm not sure how practical it is, but this brush holder* sure is adorable!

- I was so happy to get my hands on these really inexpensive prints from ikea by Helen Dardik this week. I have loved her work for years, but she primarily sells originals (which I'd love to buy one day when it's in the budget!), so I haven't had a chance to buy any of work artwork until now.

- We made these battered banana pancakes last night and they were so delicious and fun! They're really snackable, each pancake has a single banana slice in it!

- Dusty cat loves to snuggle up in a quilt. :)

Have a Great Weekend!

*Note: Any links marked with an asterisk in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click through and buy something, I make a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

My 2022 Garden

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Happy Wednesday! Today I wanted to look back on my 2022 garden. I really like having a record I can reference to remind myself what worked and also spend some time appreciating my garden in the middle of winter. It's a nice time to think about flowers and fresh veg!

I'm happy to report that 2022 was my best year in the garden yet! It was actually a tough weather season, but our unique growing conditions helped mitigate some of that. It was hot and very dry here in CT last summer. We're along the border of growing zones 6b/7a. We grow a mix of vegetables and cut flowers, along with a yard full of landscaping.

Our vegetables are all grown in containers on one section of our driveway. I think this is the third season we've done our driveway garden. It's worked great for us. It makes it really easy to care for, and we can easily add to it. We made the cedar boxes a few seasons ago, and have a variety of pots, grow bags, and galvanized tubs to grow in too. This year we added some plastic crates (lined with landscape fabric). The peppers absolutely loved these, but the dahlias weren't quite as crazy about them. I currently have some tulips in two crates, but will probably do mostly peppers and tomatoes in the crates next year.

A new thing we grew in 2022 was onions! Specifically Walla Walla onions. They were a great success. It was so nice to be able to run out for an onion when we needed them. We grew them in two big grow bags. One thing we're going to do differently next year is to replace some of the soil in the bags to make it a little less dense. I went a little too compost heavy last year, and since they don't get a ton of sun they stayed a little wetter than I think they'd prefer.

Other than onions the two main veg we grew was peppers and tomatoes. This season was my first time trying to start peppers from seed. I only started a couple varieties, but it was totally worth it. Those peppers were way ahead of the nursery plants I bought. I'm planning to start all of our peppers from seed in 2023. In 2022 we grew anaheim, banana, serrano, sriracha, lunchbox snacking, sugar rush peach, and aji peppers.

I was so happy with our tomato crop this year! We grew all cherry tomatoes, which is our favorite. This was my first year starting tomatoes from seed and just like the peppers it was very worth the extra effort. My plants were nearly 2 feet tall when I put them in the ground, and we harvested our first tomatoes on July 1st! We grew sungold, black cherry, sunrise bumble bee, sun sugar, indigo cherry drops, and a CSA tomato I saved seeds from. Sungold and Sun Sugar were our very favorites and the only two we'll continue to grow of the bunch.

At the end of the season, I planted out a perennial garden in our front yard. Previously I've grow dahlias, zinnias, and cosmos here, but they have struggled. This spot gets full sun and most of the water/nutrients get used up by the huge oak tree. So I focused on perennials that don't need a ton of water and love sun: echinacea, rudbeckia, coreopsis, and feverfew. I also planted some allium bulbs here too. Hoping this becomes a pollinator haven!

On the over side of our front yard I planted a big patch of different marigolds. I'll be doing that again this year, I just love them. These giant orange ones were new for me this year!

Similar to year's past, the bulk of my flower gardening efforts were dedicated to growing dahlias! I'm as obsessed as ever with this flower. They're just so enjoyable to grow. The magic has not faded at all! Lucky me, my patch of dahlias did incredibly well this year and I had flowers in from June until the end of October. Starting plants from cuttings not only gave me earlier blooms but it also allowed me to have more plants!

This year I had great luck with my dahlia seedlings. I had around 20 plants that I started from dahlia seeds. All seeds that I collected from my plants last year. It was so much fun to see each new plant bloom. I ended up saving 4 or 5 seedling tuber clumps to grow out next year. This purple one above is one of my favorites.

This is another dahlia seedling that bloomed right at the end of the season. I just love the yellow orange color. Another keeper for me!

My favorite new variety that I grew this year is Clearview Peachy. It had been on my wishlist for a while and I was so happy to finally get to grow it! Thankfully it lived up to my expectations. Can't wait to grow it again next year.

Another new favorite was Caitlin's Joy.

Jowey Winnie still has my heart. This was one of the first dahlia varieties I bought and I still love it.

Crichton Honey may have moved into the top spot as my favorite dahlia variety this year. It is so changeable! Sometimes it's mostly yellow, sometimes mostly coral, and other times it's this gorgeous sunset-like mix.

I could share a million more photos, but I think that's plenty for one post. I love to garden and I can't wait to grow more things in 2023.

Happy Gardening!