Bright and bold fabrics appears to be my favorite

Mostly just been piddling around this past week.

Between getting twice weekly massages, and once a week chiropractic adjustments, I am feeling SO much better and back to walking 5 miles, every day. Only indoor walking, at this point, we still have lots of snow and an arctic blast is heading our way, as I type.

I am reminded how working out cuts into free time for other things. I have a renewed appreciation for those who work outside the home and still seem to accomplish it all!

I added a few more blocks to my Irregular Blocks quilt. I need to play with its layout. I’m still not sure what size I am going for so I can’t start sewing them together. I also need a real name for this one. Any ideas?

Irregular Blocks quilt

I also played with a bag idea, for something I saw online from Lazy Girl Designs, that doesn’t have a pattern yet. I’m still working on my version it, it is not quite what I wanted. The larger one I used headliner fabric to line it with. The smaller one I used fusible fleece. The headliner worked  fabulously. I can’t get enough of these shot cottons from Peppered Cotton fabrics, such luscious colors!

Zippered bag @ Sewfrench

That is all I’ve got. What about you?

Linking up with:

WIP
Let’s Bee Social
Fabric Tuesday
Sew Cute Tuesday
A Round Tuit

Posted in Crafting, Design, fabric, Sewing, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Easiest liver cleanse ever.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the liver represents certain energy.

Movement.

If things are flowing nicely within your body as well as in life, the liver is working with balance.

Beginnings. Cleaning body. Elimination. Creativity. Exercise. Garden.

If there’s an imbalance, you will feel stuck.

Same old stuff. Clutter. Congestion. Overeating. Excess. Laziness. Weeds.

Since the liver rules the spring season, it’s a good idea to give your liver a break with eating more greens like spinach and arugula. But since we abuse our bodies year round, I think it’s a good idea to regularly eat liver cleansing foods.

And since this one is our very favorite salads, we could eat it days and days on end. And have been known to! Arugula is SO good for you and we just can’t get enough of that spicy, peppery bite, especially when combined with lemon and parmesan.

Arugula Salad @ Sewfrench

When you add fresh lemon juice as part of the dressing you have created a perfect food for a liver cleanse.

How are you feeling these days? Stuck? Unfocused? Energized? Creative? Or maybe just bored with the salad options? Give this one a go and let me know what you think!

Arugula Salad with Lemon Dressing
serves 2-4
printer friendly recipe

1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 TBS fresh lemon juice
zest from one lemon
4 cups (packed) baby arugula
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

Put the greens in your salad bowl and gently massage a sprinkling of sea salt into the greens, this will tenderize them just a touch. We love this so much we use about 2/3 of one of those 5 oz plastic tubs of arugula for the two of us, the dressing is pretty much the perfect amount.

Pour most of the the dressing over the greens, add the  tomatoes, toss until the dressing is thoroughly combined, adding more as necessary and serve to the delight of your friends and family!

Now just back off and accept the compliments.

Linking up with:
CrazyMom

Posted in Cooking, Eating, Favorite Things, Gluten Free, Health, Recipes, Salad | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Playing with Scraps

I just got this stack of beauties in the mail. So much fun in such a small package!

Color Your Stash

I “finally” got a round to signing up for one of those stash-building fabric subscription services. You’ve seen them, right? You pay a certain amount per month and they send you a stack of fabric. You can choose size of each piece of fabric, too, which will affect your monthly bill. This one works its way through the color rainbow and sends a variety, of one color, every month. There are several different companies that offer this service and I’m not sure why but I chose Fabric Shoppe’s Color Your Stash but I did. I chose the fat quarter size, I think it will be plenty for the type quilts I make. I couldn’t be happier!!

January’s color shipment was pink and I received my package of 12 prints that are from light to dark as well as a matching Auriful thread. Love Auriful. I was late signing up so I just received this one and expect February’s reds pretty quickly. How fun is that? Have you ever participated in one of these services? Were you happy with it? Did you stick it out through the whole color wheel?

I have been draining my stash pretty well, lately, and have felt pretty weak in certain color areas. I thought this would be the easiest way to start filling it in without having to make all those difficult decisions myself. Anyone else feel that way???

Fabric Organizing at Sewfrench

Or maybe I just felt like I deserved something for cleaning and organizing…. again….

And while I pet all those beauties, I am continuing to play with my scraps. I hate cutting into new fabric right away. I like thinking about all the possibilities!

Playing with scraps at Sewfrench

So playing with scraps, shapes and cardboard templates is what I’m doing while I wish this winter away. Somehow playing with color helps.

How about you?

Linking up with:
Weekend Retreat
WIP
Let’s Bee Social
Fabric Tuesday
Sew Cute Tuesday
A Round Tuit

Posted in Design, fabric, organizing, Quilting, scraps, studio | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

What Does the Fox Say???

Last week, when I was out photographing my Flower Garden quilt, I was amazed at the amount of tracks there were out back. It hadn’t snowed in a few days, but still WOW. These are not human tracks, this is a very private area. The back of our house is all windows, we would see this kind of party happening if there were people in our backyard.

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Every direction you look are tracks! I know we have a lot of deer, we have seen as many as 17 at once, most often we see a family of five and occasionally will see other critters but this is an insane amount of tracks.

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Then one morning recently, just after we got up, hadn’t even poured our coffee, My husband spotted this gorgeous fox out the window. We wondered what he was doing just standing there… He paid no attention as Peter grabbed the camera and started photographing, through the window.

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Then he laid down. Lying in wait…

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just before he pounced three feet into the air!

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He dove in, snout first, to snatch something from beneath the snow. We think it was a vole, it was bigger than a mouse anyway.

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And came up with his breakfast. He then layed it down to inspect it like a picky kid.

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Looks good to me. We’ve never seen such a beautiful fox. The red was vibrant and the white was pure. Apparently he eats well around here.

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And away we go.

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So what does the fox say?
Nothing.
He quietly minds his own business….

I imagine this is happening day and night around here. Thus all the tracks.

We live in an awesome neighborhood!

Posted in Nature, Photography, Quilting, View out my window | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Flower Garden quilt

I first talked about this quilt just a week ago. The quilt is based on the classic quilt block, Drunkard’s Path, and set with sashing and borders of the same size as the finished blocks. In this case 4″.

When I started I was just sewing blocks. I hadn’t decided on a finished quilt size.

Drunkards Path quiltI later decided I wanted the finished blocks to stand out more. So I decided to add sashing and borders using the same common size of 4″.

Flowers Garden quilt at Sewfrench

Loving where this was going, I decided this would be a baby quilt and was quickly getting too big. So I made the decision to stop at four flowers. The extras leave me halfway to another baby quilt finish. How many of those do you have?!!

I auditioned a lot of floral fabrics, from my stash, and decided on these two pieces for the back. I think they really compliment the front. One piece was from the 90’s and one was left from a quilt back I made last summer. You know that long piece you have left when you join two widths of fabric to make a back? When you need a piece wider than 44″ but not as wide as 88″? I am always happy to be using up things I already spent the money on!

Quilt back at Sewfrench

I opted to machine quilt, this one. I went with a wavy zigzag between 1/4″ and 1/2″ apart. It created such beautiful texture. I just love it! It makes me want to touch it.

Flower Garden quilt by SewfrenchThis one is shipping out to a sweet, great-niece who was born in October. I hope she loves it as much as I loved making it, especially for her!

Flower Garden by Sewfrench
“Flower Garden”
a Drunkard’s Path variation
Created by Sewfrench
Kona Snow and assorted scraps
Machine pieced and quilted
40″ x 40″

Linking with:
TGIFF
LAFF
NTT
Crazy Mom Quilts
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop
Weekend Retreat

Posted in 2015 completes, Design, fabric, Quilting | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Irregular blocks

Playing around, in my studio, last night I came up with this idea. I don’t know why I needed to start something else, but I did. One out the door, means you have to start something else doesn’t it??

Using solid scraps of reds, oranges and golds, from several different manufactures, I just started creating blocks. Very similar to the way I create lots of my quilts, never knowing how they’ll fit together.

Irregular blocks by SewfrenchBelieve it or not these fabrics are all different shades, though they didn’t photograph that way. I will have to be careful, with placement, when the time comes to put them together.

Sewfrench original WIP

Looking at them through the camera’s lens, I think I will need to venture in to other shades and hues, possibly even colors, too.

Sewing with solids at Sewfrench

All my T-shirt quilts are made this way. You would think I would just use some quick quilt math and make blocks with a common divisor. But no, I like more randomness than that. So I just make the blocks, then figure out how to make them go together!

Amanda's Trips quilt by SewfrenchFor our youngest daughter’s Memories quilt in 2005, I used tee shirts and photos, copied on to fabric from my home printer. You can see where some of them fit together, in groupings, nicely. Most didn’t. That is when you wing it!

Same with this one. My husband’s Memories quilt from 2011.

Memories by Sewfrench

I suspect this one will be the same.

Always looking for the next challenge! How about you???

Linking up with:
Fabric Tuesday
WIP
A Round Tuit
WOW
Let’s Bee Social
Sew Cute Tuesday
P.S. This one was subconsciously influenced by Ashley. Thanks for sharing, Ashley!

Posted in Design, fabric, Quilting, Sewing, WIP | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Paris The Novel

Paris by Edward RutherfurdI loved this book!

This was my first Edward Rutherfurd historical novel and it will not be my last. It is the history of Paris as seen through the eyes of several generations of families–aristocratic, merchant and the lower classes. I loved the descriptions of the city and of the events from such an early time. At over 800 pages long, it covers about 700 years and follows 6 different family lineages over those years. At times it could get confusing, but thankfully there is a lineage tree included.

Similar to certain aspects of Ken Follett’s World Without End, Paris is the chronicle of several families centered around Paris from 1261 to 1968. I loved how the families were connected and how each family has its own stake in the future of Paris.

Having stood, in awe, beneath the Eiffel Tower, Sewfrench at the Eiffel Tower
I really loved the story of Thomas Gascon and how he helped to build it. Because the writing appears to be so well researched, it was fascinating. I also enjoyed the story of Jacob and his family turning to Catholicism to avoid their persecution as Jews. I enjoyed several of the seemingly minor characters’ stories that served as filler for the family trees.

At times, I was a little confused when the chapters jumped from the 1600s to the 1200s and back to the 1800s, until I had a grasp of how the characters would eventually come together. The last 300 pages read almost straight through the 1900s… Once that generation neatly met up, with each other, the author never looked back.

Very long and very enjoyable read. Even more so if you have ever spend anytime in Paris.

Posted in Books, Reading, Review, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments