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!

Friday Favorites 47

Friday, January 20, 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 pretty small and simple. I started with the light background print by Sarah Watson*, and I pulled fabrics around it!

- Love the moody colors in this Sunset Town Quilt by Jolene Klassen.

- This animal crossing quilt by Batgirl Quilts is so much fun!

- How dreamy is this drawing nook in Jen Hewett's studio?

- I want to give a shout out to @jasikaistrycurious on Instagram this week. She makes beautiful garments and her most recent post sharing her speech accepting a Human Rights Campaign Visibility award shouldn't be missed.

- I love flowering houseplants but we don't get quite enough sun in our house for them to flourish. So I built this lego set* instead! Now I can enjoy orchid "blossoms" all year!

- Speaking of plants, I ordered our seeds this week!! Excited to try growing this cherry tomato variety, we're pretty sure we got some of these in our CSA last year.

- I tried making chia pudding for this first time this week, and I'm really enjoying it as a snack in the afternoon. I'm using this basic recipe and warming up some frozen strawberries to mix in when I eat it.

- I've been really trying to stay on top of moisturizing my skin this winter. I hate that feeling when my skin gets too dry! This duo* has been working great, I try to use one every morning.

- Dusty kitty sunbathing. :)

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.

2023 Crafty Goals

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Happy Wednesday! It's time to share my Crafty Goals for 2023. If you missed my year end wrap up you can find it here: 2022 Yearly Review. My goals this year are pretty similar to last year's. I am hoping to work more consistently on a few projects, so I've given myself a challenge to work on them every month. I figure even if it's just for a few hours a month, it's better than nothing.

I have one really big sewing goal for 2023, and it's to finally finish my double wedding ring quilt! I started it in either 2014 or 2015 (not 100% sure), and I feel like this is the year I need to buckle down and get it done. I've already made that a little easier on myself by cutting out a row. This leaves me with only 6 more arcs to piece and then I can move on to building blocks! I'm hopeful that I can meet this goal. I definitely need to make a practice mini quilt though, my curves are very rusty!

I'm still going to track my yardage for fabric and yarn this year, but I've going to give this goal a little less priority. I have my shopping really under control at this point and I've decreased my stash for 7 years in a row. I want to give myself to freedom to add to my stash a bit more this year, if I feel like it. We'll see what happens here!

Sewing & Quilting Goals:
- Use up more yardage than I bring in. I'll track my yardage to help me stay on target.
- Finish last quilt top from my HST book.
- Finish my double wedding ring quilt.
- Work on my scrappy spiderweb quilt or liberty churn dash quilt each month.
- Start another vintage sheet quilt.
- Make 1 small project (pincushions, zipper pouches, softies, etc.) per month.

Knitting/Crochet Goals:
- Use up more yardage than I bring in. I'll track my yardage to help me stay on target.
- Knit a little every month.
- Crochet a softie.
- Finish current mitten project.
- Finish/frog a shawl project.
- Finish at least one pair of machine knit socks.

Did you make any crafty goals for yourself this year? I don't make new year's resolutions in other parts of my life, but I personally like the structure of having some crafting goals to work towards.

Happy Making!

Friday Favorites 46

Friday, January 13, 2023

Happy Friday! It's time to bring back Friday Favorites posts! Catch up on previous posts here: Friday Favorites Archives

- One thing I want to add to these posts is fabric stacks. I'm going to try to curate a stack of fabrics from my stash (hopefully every week!) and share it here. The selfish goal in this is to inspire myself to come up with interesting combinations that could then lead to pulls for new projects. This first stack is a gimmie, it's been sitting on my desk for a while. It's primarily Sweet as Honey by Bonnie Christine (apologies this collection is quite old at this point) with some other prints mixed in.

- I checked this book* out from the library last week and immediately made the Strawberry Sour Cream Pound Cake. It was really tasty, and there are a bunch of other recipes I've got bookmarked to try!

- A favorite recent lunch is these egg rolls by Nadiya Hussain. I make mine without the tomato, but add a little shredded cheese. So quick and delicious.

- I finished reading the Wheel of Time series* this week!! I had good intentions to finish it before the end of the year, but then I decided I didn't want to rush through the final book. It was so good, I can't wait to read the series again. All said and done the 15 books have a total of 4.4 million words. WHOA.

- I thrifted this vintage sheet over the weekend that I've never seen before. I am so in love with the colors, I think I want to build a whole quilt around it!

- Loved watching this video from Food52: Rare & Magical, Explore Dansk Homewares: Into The Archive. I didn't realize they bought Dansk!

- Very excited that the Magic Puzzle Company* has a new series of puzzles available for preorder! If you've never tried one of their puzzles, they're really fun.

- It's sumo citrus season!! I found some at my local grocery store this week, which was exciting. If you've never had one before, they're actually a large mandarin. They are super sweet and in my opinion have a bit of a floral flavor. Fair warning, they can be pricey!

- This week we celebrated Dusty's gotcha day! I can't believe she's already been with us for a year. She's the best.

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.

2022 in Review

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Happy New Year! Is it already too late to say that? I hope your year is off to a good start so far. I took a bit of an unplanned break the last month, but I'm back today to wrap up 2022. Let's look at some creative highlights from the year and how I did on my crafty goals!

First up, my yardage tracking. This was my seventh year tracking my yardage! I can't believe I've been doing that for this long. As usual I tracked both my fabric and yarn yardage. (See how I do that in this post.) My goals in this area are the same each year: to use up more materials than I bring in. I'm happy to say I acheived this in both fabric and yarn this year!

For fabric, I used up almost 75 yards and bought only 20 yards worth of fabric. Not too shabby! I'm not using up (or giving away/destashing) as much fabric each year as I did when I first started tracking, but I'm also bringing in about a tenth of the fabric I was.

2022 was the fourth year in a row that I haven't bought any yarn. As I (hopefully) explore crochet more this coming year that streak will probably come to an end, but I'm really happy about this. It has been so nice to just use up my stash and enjoy the beautiful yarns I already have.

2022 Fabric Stash Totals
Used up: 74.75 yards
Brought in: 20 yards
Net: -54.75 yards

2022 Yarn Stash Totals
Used up: 3494 yards
Brought in: 0 yards
Net: -3494 yards

Time to look at some of my favorite projects from the year!

My favorite quilt finish: Vintage Bear Paw Quilt

My favorite lined drawstring bag finish: Ruler Paper Drawstring Bag
ruler bag

My favorite bag finish: Michael's Waxed Canvas Travel Bag

My favorite home decor finish: Abstract Fabric Artwork

My favorite yarn craft finish: Crochet Scrap Yarn Basket

My favorite woodworking finish: Dusty's Hidden Litter Box Cabinet

One of my (unspoken) goals for last year was to recommit to blogging on a regular schedule. With the exception of December, I exceeded my own expectations in terms of this goal. In 2021, I published 36 blog posts. In 2022, I published 103 blog posts! To be honest, I think I may have overextended myself a bit, so I am aiming for a little less this year, but it was nice to be back here so regularly.

I shared 16 informational or tutorial posts in 2022:
- New and Improved Stash Tracking Worksheet (with Formulas!)
- DIY Abstract Fabric Artwork
- Ideas for Storing and Organizing Sewing Notions
- Tips for Dyeing Raw Eggs
- Fabric Folding Video Tutorial
- Indigo Courthouse Steps Quilt Tutorial
- Easy DIY Row Markers for Quilting
- Tips for Keeping Your Sewing Room Clean
- DIY Budget Wooden Tomato Trellis
- Tips for Dusting and Displaying Vintage Dishes
- Packing Tips for a Sewing Retreat or Workshop
- The Cheap Secret to Preventing Fabric Bleeding in Quilts
- Making Templates for the Lined Drawstring Bag Pattern
- Patchwork Star Lined Drawstring Bag Tutorial
- Tips for Tidy Drawstring Casing Openings
- Tips for Working with Paracord

In the second half of the year I went on a pattern writing spree! I managed to release six new patterns in 2022:

Candyweb Quilt Block Pattern

Expanse Quilt Pattern

Indigo Steps Quilt Pattern

Keep Turning Quilt Pattern

Floral Chain Quilt Pattern

Vintage Bear Paw Quilt Pattern

Now a quick look back at my 2022 Crafty Goals. I think I did okay this year. Better than last year at least!

Sewing & Quilting Goals:

Use up more yardage than I bring in. I'll track my yardage each month to help me stay on target.
I decreased my fabric stash by 54.75 yards this year!

Complete two long-term quilt projects (all green quilt, double wedding ring, vintage sheet bear paw, Night Sky, HST book quilt tops, etc.).
I completed three long-term quilt projects: Floral Chain Quilt (all green quilt), Vintage Bear Paw Quilt, and one lingering HST book quilt top.

Sew a quilt primarily from scraps.
I started a quilt primarily from scraps, my Candyweb blocks.

Make a few more pieces of fabric/patchwork artwork.
I made one, it hangs above our mantle!

Sew four handmade garments.
I only made one garment this year, a housecoat for Michael. He loves it.

Knitting Goals:

Use up more yardage than I bring in. I'll track my yardage each month to help me stay on target.
I decreased my yarn stash by 3494 yards this year!

Complete four weaving projects.
I only completed one weaving project this year.

Finish current mitten project.
I worked on it, but did not finish it.

Finish/frog a shawl project.
Again, I worked on my Briochealicious shawl project but did not finish or frog it.

Finish at least one pair of machine knit socks.
Didn't touch this project.

And that's it! I'll be back soon to share my 2022 garden wrap up post plus my 2023 crafty goals!

Have Great Day!