Monday, January 23, 2017

Design Wall Monday - Valentine stitching

Just a little peek is all I'm giving you.  This little project is for Valentine's Day and I'm working on the hand quilting.  Hope to have this done today so I can pull out another UFO to start working on tomorrow while it snows. I had promised myself that I would finish this completely before tackling any other projects. And since we're expecting 6-10" of snow in the next 48 hours I need to have something to work on so that I can put off the shoveling as long as possible.
Check out the other Monday Design Walls at

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The ugly duckling

This UFO from 2011 most likely was set aside because I didn't like very much. The blocks are made using the X-block ruler and the design is fine. But the colors - not my cup of tea!  Makes me wonder what made me buy them in the first place.  

The black batik has a rust design with just a touch of green. The green and rust fabrics blend nicely but the combination is just blah - in my opinion.  

However, the zig-zag quilting gives it some much needed class and it's bound and DONE!  This one is lap quilt size, and will be given away most likely. And ironically, I found that the black batik binding was already made and waiting in my binding drawer, all labeled and ready to go. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Stepping into the past

39 years ago in May, I moved into this big old farmhouse as a young wife who had never lived out in the country before.  Both of my daughters were born while living in this house. Lots of good memories even though we only lived there for 10 years. However, this is also the house my husband grew up in, so he has even more memories - of parents, siblings, extended family, dogs, horses and farm kid adventures.
Yesterday afternoon we were driving, and would pass within 2 miles of the farm. Knowing this house is due to be torn down this spring we decided to take a detour.  When we moved off the farm in May 1988, another young family bought it from my mother-in-law. They also raised a family there and just recently their oldest son's family had moved into this house. But it's old and in tough shape, so they just finished building a new house across the road and will tear this one down.
My in-laws bought this half section of land with buildings in 1951. Over the years, other smaller pieces of land were added.  Cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, chickens, hay, and typical feed crops were the business of this place. They farmed until 1976 when my father-in-law passed away suddenly right after Christmas.  My brother-in-law kept things going until April 1978 when we moved back from Iowa where we were living and working at the time.  We kept a couple of horses, the cattle and sheep, along with hay and crops.  We farmed until May 1988 when we sent our cattle to a neighbor to keep "on shares", and moved the 3 miles into town and "town jobs". 
As a city kid, I had never driven a tractor, never helped an animal give birth, never fixed a fence, or mixed a bottle of powdered milk to feed a baby calf.  My dad, who had grown up on a Kansas farm, was amazed that I actually embraced farm life. I learned to drive the tractors, windrow hay, give injections to sick animals, pulled lambs when ewes were having trouble giving birth, bottle fed a lot of calves and lambs, cared for pheasant chicks, and took my turn in the middle of the night checking for new calves or lambs. The girls were only 4 and 7 when we moved to town so the youngest doesn't remember much about the farm. But my oldest remembers feeding bottle calves and riding in the tractor with dad. Both remember the swing set in the yard and were amazed that the dog house was still there, although not in the same spot.  
I'm sure the young family living on that location will make lots of new memories for that place even though this house won't be there anymore. We're glad we stopped by and had the opportunity to tickle our memories. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

X-block UFO

This UFO is from 2011.  I know that I bought the X-block ruler and the fabric on a guild bus trip to Nebraska shops that summer and made most of the blocks right away. Then it got set aside.  About a year ago I made a few more blocks and hung those up in the closet again, where they spent more time being ignored.
I put the top together in 2016 and even found backing in my stash for it.  Last week I finally decided it was time . . . to get it quilted, bound and finished.  Bonnie, at The Pin Cushion, did a great job on it as always. She selected a nice angular zig-zaggy design that plays nicely with the angular zig-zaggy look of the blocks. 
Next step is to dig through the stash and find something that will work for binding. Wonder if there is any of that black print hiding away somewhere?  These are definitely NOT colors I normally like to use, so the chances of finding anything in that pumpkin color aren't very good. Maybe the green, but I'm not holding my breathe that I'll find anything compatible with that either.  I may end up buying a half yard of a solid in one of those colors just for binding.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Solstice Challenge

Sunday morning sewing involved working on some bags for the class I'm teaching next weekend, and catching up on the first 4 blocks of the Solstice Challenge by Pat Sloan.  One block each Wednesday between Winter Solstice and Summer Solstice.  I think I can manage that.  I picked up a really pretty soft cream batik to use as the background and I'm using my batik stash and batik scraps for the colors. This is a terrible photo, but the blocks are looking good.
Check out the Solstice Challenge on Pat Sloan's website.
Good thing I got to sew on Sunday morning because that was the only time I've spent in my sewing room since.  I picked up some kind of bug, and it laid me low for a couple of days.  Similar symptoms to what my husband had last Thursday. This morning I have decided I may live, and now I need to get caught up on some tasks for work.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Farm Girl Vintage again

This is the Sunday Morning block. I think it is one of my favorites so far. And the next block is Welcome.  We're getting down to the last dozen blocks I think. Plus I still have a couple of the downloaded ones left to make, such as the cow and the turkey.  The little blocks are so darn cute! I just love them, and I know that making these has stretched my skills quite a bit. I'm no longer intimidated by small pieces.

I'm starting to think about how I want to put the small blocks together for myself. And I keep coming back to the layout from the book with the simple sashing and cornerstone plus prairie points.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Easter Sunrise added to the finishes

Both of the Easter Sunrise runners are completely finished and ready to gift. I can check off my January UFO Challenge project.  Yay!
The original pattern was called He Is Risen, by Just Sew of Wayne NE -purchased at a quilt show a few years ago.  It's a simple silhouette machine appliqued to the orange batik. These are identical to the first one I made for myself, except for the top one above has the "hill" cut slightly different.  The gorgeous batik background is what really makes these special and I bought enough for 3 when I bought the pattern. And I've never seen a batik quite this perfect since then.