Join Janet on her adventures as a designer, writer, maker, and farmer in montana. no two days are ever the same. you might even see a bear or two.

Hunting for Hucks

Hunting for Hucks

Rusty thought it would be a good idea to get up at 4:04 a.m. this morning, so I’m writing a blog post. I try to cut him as much slack as I can. He’s old (we think about 15). His back legs are so arthritic that he requires assistance to get up. Still, I was hoping to sleep a bit longer…

I was cutting the grass yesterday and decided to check on this year’s huckleberry crop. Huckleberries are fickle plants. They require a particular combination of sunlight, moisture, and soil pH, but no one has yet been able to figure out how to replicate that combination to grow them commercially—and believe me, people have tried. By some very weird fluke, our property has the huckleberries’ desired ecosystem. We have one big patch and several smaller patches scattered around our seven acres. I’ve also seen some new bushes popping up here and there. It’s been a couple of years since we had a good crop. I am too lazy to go up the mountain to pick them, so I glean what I can from our property and from a couple of places on state land across the road, and that’s usually enough for a respectable batch of jam. You know that I like you if you get a jar of huckleberry jam from me.

A quick check of one or two bushes indicates that this may be a good year for berries:

HucksinJuly.jpg

They should start ripening down here in another week or so, and then it’s me versus the turkeys in a race to see who gets them.

I finished the back of the Fika Tote yesterday (apologies for the lousy picture but it’s 4:30 a.m. in my office):

FikaBack.jpg

This is probably the sixth or seventh Noodlehead pattern I’ve made and it’s the one I’m least enjoying. I’m not quite sure why that is. Her patterns are usually so easy to follow. It may just be because this one is made with foam. I’ve said before that I don’t like working with foam. Oh well. As you can see, I did make a lapped zipper—my first—which wasn’t difficult, just new. I’ve also got the gusset done. The next step is to sew the front and back to the gusset and then it’s just a matter of putting the lining together. The exterior and the lining are joined with binding at the top.

I got some $3 a yard fabric on clearance at Hobby Lobby to use as the backing for the scrap Candy Coated quilt. I need 4-5 yards for a quilt back, and for quilts that ultimately get donated to MCC relief sales, I want a nice backing but not one that is going to cost me $12.99 a yard. (We sometimes use sheets as backings for the tied comforters we make at quilting.) I also picked up a new kind of batting at the quilt store:

This is made from recycled pop bottles. I don’t usually use polyester batting—I prefer natural fibers—but I am open to trying new things. The owner of the quilt store said she just used this on one of her quilts and she was amazed at how soft it is. I’ll try it on the Candy Coated quilt and report back.

A Few Neighborhood Updates

A Few Neighborhood Updates

A New Use for Tomato Cages

A New Use for Tomato Cages