Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Summer is here!!!

Here is my progress on the Farm Girl Vintage quilt by Lori Holt.  I wanted to make a red, white, and blue sparkler block so I made the peas and carrots block look patriotic.

I had all kinds of trouble with the pear block.  I put the white on the wrong corners of the green for leaves so I had to switch the two pears to get the leaves at the correct angle.  The instructions were okay.  I just wasn't paying attention.

I finished my Ohio Star flag and have it hung for the 4th.  I constructed the top years ago and got it basted in January. I have been quilting it at my leisure.  It's only my 2nd finish of the year.  I am so slow.

We went to Yellowstone National Park last week with my cousins.  This is a picture of Old Faithful erupting.  It was hot hot that day.

My son ordered this for dinner.  He gobbled it right down.

I was able to get a great shot of this dragonfly while we were picnicking by the side of the river.

There weren't many animal sightings but we did have a moose cross the road one car in front of us on our way to picnic.  We weren't even in the park yet.

Hope you're doing something fun.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

I found more barn blocks

We went to "Quilting in the Country" in Bozeman Montanaa.  There is a darling cabin as you come up the drive and this quilt block was on it.  Too cute.

This block is on an angle on another cabin close by.

The flowers and landscaping around the cute little store are wonderful.   The peonies were in bloom in this bed with an actual sewing machine on a stand in the middle.  The ropes are to keep people away because it was their Shop Hop and so many were expected.

Everything except the kits were 40% off.  I bought a number of Barbara Brackman pieces that I missed out on when we were serving in Wisconsin..

We later went to the Historical society where they had quilts on display.  The cheddar 9-patch is on an old fire engine.

The local quilt group combined their talents and made this historical quilt in the 70's.  It has cabins, buffalo/bison, covered wagons, fishing, tee pees, local birds & flowers, and geysers as Bozeman is only about 45 miles north of Yellowstone National Park.

This quilt is kind of a mystery to me.  I think it is made out of tobacco wrappers.  But I've just seen the satin ones and this is all flannel.

This huge fellow was just walking along the side of the road.  Such an unusual looking beast with his heavy head, swathed shoulders, and bare rump.

DH went fishing out on the lake.  He didn't catch a thing all day which was rather discouraging but my cousin and son each caught a rather large lake trout.  Good eating.


Monday, June 8, 2015

Getting off my HIGH HORSE

Cutting out shapes and trying to get the placement right~
I seem to do everything from scratch.  For some reason making things the hard - time consuming way gives them more value in my book.  I think I inherited it from my parents

I was raised by two wonderful people who grew up during the depression.  It was a time of making do with what you had.  You saved string, screws, and scraps without a project in mind.  You just might need them someday.  My mother made all my clothes and my dad built our house.  You didn't go out and buy something you could manufacture with your own hands.  (And, they didn't have credit cards.)

I like the satisfaction of doing things that are difficult sometimes.  I started a stamp quilt a few years ago (1" blocks) and my son asked me why I wanted to do something like that.  "I want to do something hard" I said as I laughed at myself.

I made all the girls clothes when they were growing up.  Sewing for the boys was another kettle of fish.  I didn't want to make jeans and they often wouldn't wear the shirts I made. (Although Nathan has worn the Hawaiian ones.) Who would have thought boys could be so picky.  But sewing for the girls was fun.  I made shorts and tops, swimming suits, prom dresses, and eventually brides dresses.

I'm a scratch cook standing at the stove for hours just to keep stirring the perfect pudding.  I make my cakes from scratch, my pizza and pie crust from scratch. (I've been pondering making my own pastrami now that we have our own smoker). I can see the 70's influence of doing everything the natural way here.

My husband is the same way.  When I told him I wanted some quilt frames and showed him the Grace frame from a magazine he built me one for our 23rd anniversary.

I have quilted on these frames for 19 years now.  They are easy to assemble, keep the quilt taut, and don't take up much room.

So, when it comes to quilting and I've got an applique project going - I  do needleturn applique.  There is just something in me that feels like I'm reducing the worth and significance of the quilt by using a sewing machine to apply the applique pieces.

I hope I'm not offending anyone here.  It's just who I am.  (Keep reading, I turn into a real person later in the post)

So when I started this project;

When the Cold Wind Blows
I fully intended to do it all with needle turn applique like I have done with these  quilt tops.

Folk Art Tribute by Dawn Heese

Birds of a Feather by Blackbird Designs

Alma Allen & Jan Patek pattern

Moda Mystery

My daughter calls this one "Jousting chickens".
But, after prepping 3 1/2 blocks that took days and days I began to applique the oak leaf blocks.  I'm already falling out of love for this project.  I can see it's going to take me years to complete because the enthusiasm is dwindling with each stitch.  My leaves are crooked too.

Wrinkled frustration

I don't like the bulk of the 28 1/2 inch block.  It's way to big and the applique is a chore instead of a pleasure.

After extensive deliberation, I got out my Heat n Bond Lite and began tracing, snipping, pressing, and trimming.  It is going so much faster in the preparation stage alone. I'm having fun already

I am going to machine applique it like I have done with these tops

Fig Tree Danelions

Jan Patek

Center is machine appliqued
Compilation of Blackbird Designs

Santa heads are Debbie Mumm pattern

Black Mountain Quilt design

SO, I'm going to get off my "HIGH HORSE" and revive the  joy in sewing.  

That is the reason I quilt after all.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Weekly report~

the Burr Oak

I finished basting two more applique blocks.  These blocks are 28 1/2" square so it not only uses big pieces of fabric but it takes a while to get it all prepped.

the Winter Rose
 I also pieced many of the many of the backgrounds.  The one above looks busy but when the other blocks with that sampler background are put together - it won't stand out so much

the 1st block - the Hedge Apple

Here they are spread out on the grass.  The oak leaf is going to be challenging with all those curves in the leaves.  I think I applique it first to get it over with.  I might save the hedge apple till last because it looks so easy with the circles.  It will be my reward for appliqueing the harder pieces.

I also started the cute little quilt called "Farm Vintage". My fabric arrived this week (Pam Kitty Garden) and so I began with the chick.

I don't have the legs or eye embroidered yet.  The sweet yellow fabric has cute little pink birds holding umbrellas.

The red print in this star block has cows in it.  The piece is from my stash but it seemed like a good piece to include in a farm quilt.

Our youngest son is ENGAGED!!!  Here they are at a family gathering last Sunday.

This is another son with his favorite buddy.  That dog is the sweetest gentle feel-good dog ever.

My youngest grandson has the cutest little dirty face in this picture.  Look at the twinkle in his eyes.

It's iris season at out house.  Here's a quick peek of all the different varieties we have.

Ironically, my favorite variety didn't bloom at all this year.  AND, we have about 10 plants.  Inquiring minds wonder. . . . . .

We have had so much rain this month, over 200% of normal in some areas.  Last Sunday when we were traveling to Ogden I took this picture of downtown from the freeway.  There is so much moisture in the air that I couldn't get a clear picture.  Also, if it was clear you could see how GREEN the foothills are.  We're not used to constant rain.  We've had 9 consecutive days of moisture.  The record is 12 - I wonder if we'll make a new record this year.

We also had the driest winter on record.  Mother Nature sure can be fickle.

The rainy days aren't very inspiring.  I just don't have as much ambition and enthusiasm when the sun isn't shining for days on end.  I do sit under my Ott lamp when I quilt so at least I'm getting some exposure.  No S. A. D.  for me.


Friday, May 15, 2015

Pompions, pie, and the Sanderson Star Quilt

"For pottage, and puddings, and custards, and pies,
Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies.
We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon:
If it were not for pumpkins, we should be undoon."

Pumpkins or "pompions" were a standby of the early New England Settlements.

This is the quilt on the frames and it's putting me into a fall-like mood.  I'm really enjoying the hand quilting using black and orange 12 wt. thread and big stitches.  Although my big stitches should really be called big spaces because I haven't quite got the rhythm going yet.

Because I'm thinking about fall and the temps are in the 50's I decided to make a pie out of the sweet potatoes I bought.  I thought I was buying yams, which I love, but I ended up with 5 sweet potatoes and neither DH or I are fond of them.

So, I pulled out the 1940's cookbook and made Sweet Potato Pie.  The partial recipe is above.  Doesn't the Pumpkin Pie with cream and POOLS OF HONEY above the recipe sound tempting?

I already had a baked pie shell so I cooked the filling like pudding in a saucepan until thick and then poured it into the shell.  Waited for it to cool - not!  It was very satisfying.

I finished the blue and white crown of thorns quilt that I've been hand quilting for two years.  It turned out rather lovely I think~  I haven't washed it yet and am a bit hesitant.  I don't want to take the newness away.  But after two years of being dragged to Wisconsin and back, it needs a bath.

Just a reminder of the border quilting.
I did a knife edge binding.  It was rather tedious to do.  I don't have a picture of the completed binding.

The inspiration for this quilt is found in the book Quilts & Coverlets - The Beamish Collections by Rosemary E. Allan.  I tried to find a link but I can't find anywhere that this books is available for sale.

The book has wonderful pictures and histories of the quilts of Northern England and Wales.  It is a treasure trove.

This quilt is the Sanderson Star.  It was my inspiration.  I wanted to make a two color quilt with a fairly simple piecing design and then quilt it intensely like this quilt and others in the book.

This is the quilting design - gasp!

A red and white version of the Sanderson Star.

I quilted the pieced blocks both in the ditch and 1/4" inside each seam.  I came up with my own idea for the quilting in the white spaces.  It was truly a labor of love.

Off to enjoy another piece of pie.