Things I’m enjoying lately

Here are a few of the things I’m enjoying lately, quilty things and not-so-quilty:

February might be a short month but while the days struggle to get longer and the weather feels downright manic, it can feel interminable. It is at this time of year especially that I try to focus on enjoying some small things, just because. Spring is coming!

This. Holy cow. This quilt won Best in Show at QuiltCon just this past week in Savannah. You’ve probably seen photos of it all over the place, but I really, really love it. It’s “bling,” by Katherine Jones, of Chigwell, Tasmania. Based on a princess-cut diamond, the quilt measures 98″ square, and is foundation paper-pieced. Wow. Wow. Wow.

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bling by Katherine Jones, photo courtesy Modern Quilt Guild

 

Soak and Flatter. Have you tried them? If it’s possible to enjoy washing clothes, this does it for me. Soak is a no-rinse laundry soap that works for delicates and so many other things. I first started using it several years ago on my hand-knits and have loved it ever since. Fifteen minutes in a sink or basin of water with a capful or two of Soak, squeeze the water out, and lay your sweater out to dry. That’s it. No rinse. Really. I started out using the scent Aquae, moved on to Fig, and lately ordered it in Celebration. The website describes the Celebration scent as, “inspired by the heady essence of red rooibos tea.” All I can tell you is that it’s light, sort of floral (but not too), and delicious.

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Soak on the left, Flatter on the right

You’ll notice that bottle of Flatter, too. I love it to freshen things up after they’ve lain in a drawer or been stuffed in the closet. Just a spritz or two and a tug and you smooth out small rumples. You can use it to iron too, but who irons? Not me, except for pillowcases, and it is wonderful for that. I sometimes just spray a little on my sheets just before bed too, just because.

 

Field Notes. You may or may not know of my fondness for notebooks. They are a real weakness for me. I love few things more than having an empty book, full of nothing but potential! If you too like notebooks, you might want to check out Field Notes. Their books are a standard 3.5 X 5″ and come full of graph, ruled, or plain paper. They’re made to be used. I carry one or two in my purse all the time for notes, grocery lists (wen I remember to makeit), and thoughts or small sketches. My latest are these:

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This version is called “Black Ice.” I love how shiny they are!

The folks at Field Notes will occasionally put a little extra in your box. I’ve been enjoying the pencils I’ve gotten lately probably more than is normal.

Speaking of pencils…I may have shown you these before, but because I bought a whole box of them, I’m still loving them. “Them” are Blackwing 602s. I like to buy my pencils from J.B. Welly. I buy notebooks from John too, and even pens. Honestly, there is something so wonderful about getting a package from him. His prices are quite competitive, he ships fast, and every single thing is wrapped so beautifully! It’s like receiving a special gift.

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Blackwing 602 pencils.

 

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My last order from J.B. Welly. How beautiful is that?

 

Star Storm Pattern. Yes, I bought the pattern from Victoria. No, I have not decided what fabrics I want to use. I know, I’m pathetic! Not to worry, I’ll be picking something out soon. The pattern is clear I am pretty excited to make it. I just need to finish up a few other things first. No, really, I just need to quit dithering and make it. The pattern is written so it’s not going to be difficult at all. So what am I waiting for?

 

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This was the first time I saw the quilt, at last year’s QuiltCon. Different fabrics, same gorgeous quilt…and girl.

 

So the days are still short and the weather is menopausal, but I’m finding lots of things to brighten the time. How about you? Is there anything special that makes February easier for you?

 

  • Wendy Tuma

    From beginning to end, I agree with everything in your post. Love that Bling quilt; it’s amazing! I haven’t used Soak or Flatter, but you know that it is now on my list. And JB Welly? I order from him because receiving those lovely wrapped packages makes me feel so happy. Not to mention the pencils are the best! Can’t wait to see what you do with Victoria’s pattern. I have her books, so that’s another few future projects I have in my head! Thanks for sharing, Lori!

    • Yeah, that quilt…it’s wonderful! I saw a clip from an interview with her. She said that the piecing alone took her 160 hours. I’m afraid I’d have long since dropped out.

      I think you’ll like Soak and Flatter. They are not necessary things, so to speak, but they make mundane chores like washing out sweaters much more fun!

      Have you tried the Blackwing Pearl pencils? I have just one but am thinking I might NEED a boxful. It feels softer and reads grayer than the 602, but I can definitely see it having a place in my sketch book.

      Victoria’s quilts are so, so good. She really has an amazing eye and works her tail off to bring us beautiful quilts.

      Thanks for your thoughts, I love it when people agree with me! 😉