Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fence Lines and Farmer's Market

This is how my husbnad and I have been spending our time off since I got out of school. My husband mowed the pasture, and we've been clearing the fence lines. Since we don't keep livestock, we haven't worried about the fences in several years and the trees had grown tall and thick. I liked the privacy, but some of the trees were growing over our septic lines. They had to come out. So did the trees growing into the fence.

Below is a picture of Henry. He's old, but still works well enough. No, Henry's not my husband! That's my husband driving Henry.  : )

Here's a look at the piles of brush that we need to burn. We're currently in a severe drought, so we have to wait until we get lots of rain, but we'll be ready with lots to burn. All of that stuff in the background is piles of brush and trees. Look at all of that dead grass. That should be a tall field of green grass waiting to be cut and baled. Instead, it's just bare ground and dry, dead stuff. Come on rain!

Below is another block for my Farmer's Market quilt. This actually has a half block surround of checkerboard, but I took the photo before I made that portion. This goes on the upper right of the middle section.

Here is the next block. It goes below the one pictured above. I love the blues and burnt orange in this one.

I have the last block of this section finished, but I don't have a photo yet. Tomorrow is my lovely husband's birthday, so I don't know if I'll be doing much sewing. You may not hear from me until Monday. If not, have a great Sunday!

'Til then,

Friday, June 29, 2012

More Farmer's Market

I'm still having fits with this quilt, but I WILL get it done. One way or another. Here's today's progress. The top three photos are the four sections of the last block of the strip. Huh? Anyway, I showed you the first two blocks yesterday. These finish that strip.

Here is the strip sewn onto the bottom of the middle section. I have now completed the middle section, a top strip, and the bottom strip. I've started on one of the side blocks, but due to some more size issues with the cutting instructions, I've had to rip out most of the block, recut some of the pieces, and resew the block. I'll show you that one tomorrow. Right now I'm not talking to it. *pout*

I may take a couple days off and do some calming binding. Mom just brought by my cream and blue quilt. She quilted it and cut it down for me. Now I'm back to three quilts just waiting on binding. I've been WAY too productive this year! I'll try to get some photos of the cream and blue quilt tomorrow. My husband and I have been clearing out the pasture, the fence line, and the old gardens every morning before the temp hits 100. Between that and actual *gasp* housework, my sewing day has been drastically shortened, but I'll work in some time and let you know my progress.

Until then,

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Farmer's Market cont'

First, I'd like to welcome Ginny at Fish Creek Studio ( Go check out her beautiful Retro Flowers quilt pattern. I love it! Welcome aboard, Ginny. By the way, Ginny pointed out to me that I'm an unintentional "No Reply" blogger. I have all my settings set up the way the Internet suggests, so I don't know what I've done wrong. Has anyone else experienced this problem? Any suggestions for fixing it? I could use some advice.

Also, welcome to If you want to see the cutest baby kitten pictures ever, go visit this site immediately. I'll wait... Hmm, hmmm.hmmmm, hmmm... Oh, you're back! Aren't they adorable? Did you see that little orange kitten? All together now, "Awwwwwww..."

Back to my Farmer's Market quilt -

Okay, here's a really ugly block. We can't win them all. No matter what else goes around it, this block will still be ugly. But one thing I have learned about quilting is that I am NOT going to tear it out and try to improve it.  Ugly is good. Every quilt needs a little ugly (or in this case - a LOT).

 Below is the middle section of this strip. This block will be sewn to the right of the block above. I like this block. Such pretty, soothing, non-chaotic colors.

So why does the next block still look like this? I have another 45 minutes before I have to leave for my quilt guild meeting. That's plenty of time to finish one more block. Well, you see...

I seem to have gained a furry new seat cushion on my sewing chair. Sigh. So why do I let my kitties run my life? Because, quite frankly, I'm sure they do a better job of it than I could myself. They certainly make sure I slow down and don't spend too much time at any one task. Even the fun ones.

Maybe my chair will be free again tomorrow.

Until then, happy sewing everyone!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Just checking in...

No quilt photos today. I have finished two more small sections on my Farmer's Market quilt, but I haven't taken any pics yet. I've been spending a lot of my time trying to catch up on all of the tasks that I neglect during the school year. I've gotten a lot of house cleaning done (remember the helmet to the face the other day!), but today I concentrated on the outside. My husband has been working hard clearing out the pasture and the fence line, so I joined him this morning. I cleared out the deadwood from the crepe myrtles that died back in the rough winter before last. They've come back from the base, but there's a lot of dead stuff still hanging around.

We here in Arkansas have been charging head first into a severe drought with record high temperatures. We can't feel sorry for ourselves, though, considering what Colorado is suffering. My husband and I looked into moving to Colorado Springs two years ago. We finally decided to stay where we are, but it's frightening to know that we could have been in the middle of that. We do, however, have cousins on my husband's side who do live in Colorado Springs. They're away from the fire area, but we'll call and check on them tomorrow.

So here's a pink rose from my garden earlier this spring to remind us in Arkansas and Colorado that things will eventually get better. And I have a chicken yard full of active baby chicks that also act as a daily reminder of normalcy.

I'll try to check in again tomorrow before my Q.U.I.L.T. guild meeting tomorrow night. I get to show off three of my recently finished quilts during Show and Tell. Brag time!


Monday, June 25, 2012

Farmer's Market starting to get better.

Welcome, Susan! Thank you for joining my quilting trek. Everyone needs to visit Susan's website and see her beautiful quilts and gorgeous quilting. You can find her at WAZOO! Quilting. Hop on over now and explore. I'll wait here for you to get back.......

Welcome back! Wasn't Susan's site wonderful? : ) Now, time to reveal the ugly truth. I've been hesitent to show you the completed middle of the Farmer's Market quilt, but here it comes.

This is the second block, the one that alternates with the one I showed you last week.

Here it is! The first block. You'll recall that due to some problems I had with the instructions, I had to fall back on some different fabrics than those I had originally chosen. The same thing happened with the alternate blocks.

Here is a photo of the blocks together. See why I've had my doubts? I finally decided that I could live with them but then came the inner border.

The lime green and brown seemed like a good idea at the time. I intend to use both colors quite a bit throughout the quilt, but they look really odd here. More doubts.

The next protion of the assignment calls for a strip of blocks to be sewn to the top of the completed center portion of the quilt. So far, so good. I liked these blocks sewn together. But in the interest of full disclosure, I'll 'fess up to the next problem I encountered. Because the instructions had me cut some of the fabrics a little small to get them to work the way they were supposed to, I adjusted my needle position from 3.7 to 4.0. That worked great. The pieces finally fit well enough for me to continue. Unfortunately, I continued at the 4.0 needle position. Those few threads difference made a full inch difference in the size of my finished center. Instead of being 36.5 inches square, it's 37.5 inches. Even more unfortunately, I had tried (okay, okay, I wasn't thinking!) to return to my normal needle positon. That means that the upper strip was a full inch too short to add to the center. Coping strip time! I think I'll be using a lot of coping strips to make this quilt work.  

 This is the center block in the strip. Again, I like it.

And here is the final portion. Again, I love the way these turned out. A lot of colors here.
 The entire strip.

I was trying to take my photos on the floor since the background is neutral and the lighting is better, but I was being crowded out by Tessie, who did not want me to move the chair she was sleeping in. I've done the best I can.  

Final shot of the day. This is the top strip sewn onto the center. I know, the top is on the side, but see the photo above for why I couldn't get a better shot of this. The sunlight coming in the window onto the carpet washed out the upper right hand side of the photo. Sorry.

Anyway, I'm hoping that as I continue to add more colors, the quilt will continue to improve. See my blue coping strip bottom right? There'll be more of them. I'll have to start making them fancier, huh?

Thanks for visiting,

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A quilt almost as colorful as my nose!

I can smile, laugh, turn my head, talk, and bend down. Yeah! Why am I so excited? Because that means my nose isn't actually broken after all. Don't misunderstand - it still hurts quite a bit, but I can function. I'm getting colorful though . It's a good thing I look good in red and purple. What I didn't think about is my glasses. I wear reading glasses when I sew. It's a good thing they sit slightly down on my nose and not up on the bridge. I'm still going to look colorful for the funeral tomorrow, but so be it. I'm just glad it's not actually broken. I shouldn't have to go through that twice in my lifetime! ; )

Okay, update on my Farmer's Market Block of the Month Quilte
Here's the first section of the NINE sections of the third month on this Farmer's Market Block of the Month. Got that? Yeah, that's what I thought. Each "month's" assignment consists of whole sections of the quilt, not just one block.

Okay, so it's hard to figure out the colors again. I changed from my green cutting board to the purple. It didn't help.

Next is the second section of the third month's "block."

Below is the third section of the nine. I'm liking all of these sections so far.

Here is this first finished four-section. Yep, I like this part so far.

Below is the center of this nine-section. I really like it, too.

Here's a close up of my favorite polka-dot fabric. Isn't it fun? I'll be using it more later on in this quilt.

The next four-piece section will finish the third month's assignment. It will sew across the top of the center that I've already completed. Nope, I've not shown you completed center yet. I'm still concerned about it. If my explanations are confusing, you should try reading the instructions! I'm definitely going back to designing my own quilts after this!

Here's are some more African Violet pictures.

I just had to show a picture of the wonderful gift my husband gave me for my birthday last year. It's a 1984 Jaguar. He knows that I've always loved the look of a Jag. My husband has had even more fun driving it than I have! The day I took this picture, my husband had stopped by my work to say goodbye to me. He and his best friend were going to a fancy car something or other. Needless to say, he took my car but not me. That's what I get for being married to an automotive instructor!

Since it's over 100 degrees outside and as dry as dust (we're in the middle of a severe dought), I can't do much outside, so I have to stay inside and sew. Isn't that a shame? Well, the drought is, but the sewing is defintely welcome! I hope to have more photos for you tomorrow.

'Til then,

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Even bigger oops!

Okay, as if quilting wasn't going badly enough, now I've added another challenge to my life. Just when I finally kicked a three day migraine, I've gone and broken my nose. I finally felt headache free enough to try cleaning my house and was trying to put my husband's helmet on its shelf above my head when I dropped the helmet onto my face. I guess I shouldn't have tried a tricky maneuver when I was on the phone and had only one hand free. : (

Anyway, I've used a cold compress to keep down the swelling, but my nose and eyes are already turning an impressive purple. I wonder what my quilt guild buddies are going to think when I get up for Show and Tell Thursday night? I'm going to have some 'splainin' to do. Worse yet, I'm attending the funeral of a dear friend and colleage Monday morning. More 'splainin'.

Considering the headache I feel coming on and the pain I remember from breaking my nose as a child (long story), I'm not sure how much sewing or blogging I'm going to be doing for the next few days. If you don't hear from me, don't be surprised. Hopefully, my nose isn't actually broken, just badly bruised. At worst, it's only cracked like when I was a child. And it's on the left side of the bridge again, Mom!

I'll be back...



Okay, thanks to having to ditch three of my favorite fabrics due to misleading instructions, I'm now running into problems. I replaced those perfectly colored, perfectly matched fabrics with whatever came to hand first, and now I'm having sewer's regret. I know that every quilt goes through an "ungy teen" period, but this one is starting early. I am going to persevere and continue bravely forward, but I'm not showing any more photos until I it get a little farther along. The blocks were okay. The interior border was lovely. But when I put the two together...? Let's see what happens today and go from there.


Friday, June 22, 2012

More Farmer's Market Progess

More frustration on my Famer's Market quilt. Once again, I trusted that the fat quarters that were suggested would work. Once again, I was wrong. Once again, I have cut (and sewn this time) fabric that I have had to set aside in the hope that I can use it elsewhere. Anyway, I have Month 1 on this Block of the Month pattern almost finished. Remember I told you that the alternate blocks would be different? Well, here's a hint.

Middle of the alternate blocks.

Flying Geese for the alternate blocks.

Rember this selection of fabrics? Well, thanks to running out of the pink farbric, I have lots of brown and pink Flying Geese (they're beautiful, too!). Unfortunately, I can't use them here. But see the blue fabric? Yep, since I cut it, I still used it for the side set triangles. I've wasted enough fabric. If I've cut it, I'm using it! With the pieces above, this combo sounds horrible, doesn't it? Don't worry. I have them done, and they actually look terrific. I don't have photos of the completed blocks yet, but I will.
My next assignment - Month 2 - is a border for this six bock center. I hope to get started on it today. Hopefully, I'll get some photos for tomorrow.

'Til later,

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bye, bye, sumo wrestler baby!

First, the good news. I tossed out the sumo wrestler baby with the bathwater! This color combination is out!

I loved the color combo above, but it seemed to set too much of a baby tone for the quilt. The instructions for this quilt said to use fat quarters and neglected to mention that these five blocks cannot be completed with fat quarters (the outside quarter square triangles require more than a fat quarter of fabric), so I grabbed the first green fabric off my shelf. While I love the fabric (sorry, I keep forgetting to remove the light green cutting board before I take my pictures), I hated the fact that it made the whole bock look like a baby blanket wannabe. One block would not have been bad, but five of them would have been too much for me.

So, out with the giant baby quilt and in with the tropical sunset. Actually, for those of you who may have preferred the green, it wasn't to be. The instructions said to cut the side quarter square  triangles from a 7 1/4" square. I don't know on what planet a 7 1/4" square would have worked, but not on mine! I now have 20 side set triangles that are too small for this block. I had to chose a new fabric and cut it 7 1/2". That worked perfectly! Now, I know that the block above looks a bit...loud and...oddly colored and...well, questionable, but I think it will work out in the great scheme of things. You'll need to see the rest of the fabrics before you judge. It really doesn't look that bad off of the cutting board. The violet doesn't look so strong.

Speaking of the rest of the fabrics, here are the fabrics for the second block. Again, bad color in this photo. There will be four of these alternating with the five above. Believe it or not, the rest of the fabrics I have chosen will bring these together. I hope. If not...oh dear, it's going to be a mess. I'm really not very good at making scrap quilts. This is really a challenge for me. Deep breath...and exhale. Okay, I'm calmer now.

A couple of my African violets - with Tessie's back in the background. I have about six violets in bloom right now. I'm still coaxing four more sleepy violets that just "don't wanna" bloom.

I'll work some more on my blocks on my first day off tomorrow. Hurray! I'll try to get some better photos that will be more true to color. 


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The birth (and early demise?) of my Farmer's Market quilt.

Okay, I hate it already. I warned you that it would look like a baby quilt. Of course, it doesn't help that it's on that baby green cutting board. I have a feeling that I'm going to scrap this start and just make this block into a baby quilt. I don't buy light fabrics very often, so I'm not sure what kind of Farmer's Market I'll end up with, but it really don't want it to look like a receiving blanket for a sumo wrestler! I have five of these blocks cut out. I may finish these and add the four alternate block and see how they look. The other colors are not as babyish. I don't know though... Hmmm...

Look! I bought myself a new sewing chair! It's the most comfortable chair on Earth, and I'm so excited to have it! I think. I have a feeling that getting it away from Sinbad is going to be a challenge. I bought two of the chairs. He spends all day sleeping in the one that is already set up (it's in the sunroom), but if I try to get near the boxed chair, he takes it over instead. I feel diversionary tactics may be called for. Kitty treats, here I come!

I have graduation tonight, so I doubt that I'll be able to get any sewing done. But the good news is that tomorrow is my last day before summer vacation, so I hope to be able to get some more sewing done later this week. Yay!

My husband and I, Okay, okay, I have plans to build a new front patio this week. My darling but unhandy husband is being bullied into helping me. We'll only be able to work for a couple of hours each morning since the heat seems to be building daily as I get closer to having time off. Amazing how that happens, huh? Anyway, we have an unused area that cannot be mowed, but needs to be kept up. I figured the easiest upkeep would be no upkeep. Hence, the patio. I bought the weed guard yesterday. Mom is getting rid of a patio she built some years ago, so she's giving me the patio stones (that's a great savings - thanks, Mom!). Now all we need is the gravel to bed the stones on. We plan to regravel the driveway at the same time, so this part should be easy. We'll just get the truck to back up and pour the gravel exactly where we need it. Or, if that doesn't look like it will work, I'll buy big bags of gravel at the landscape store and spread it myself. We'll see. Anyway, lots of work ahead! I'll show pictures as I go. See you later.


Monday, June 18, 2012

New project

Yes, yes, I know. This is supposed to be the year of "completions." I'm supposed to be working diligently on my To Do List. But I have a problem... Every time I get a quilt done, I have to bind it. I'm stacking up! It's time to start a new project in the certain knowledge that I won't be able to finish it this year and have to bind it. Oh, and did I mention that I finally finished binding my Harvest Time quilt. I still have to make a label. In the meantime, I'm already binding the Eureka! Black and Blue quilt. Only two more waiting for me after that one.

Remember this pattern? I ordered it about six weeks ago.

Well I started it yesterday. It takes about 60 or so fat quarters. What it doesn't say is that if you make it the same way the pattern shows, fat quarters won't work for the center squares. Hmmmmm. On to Plan B. Yep, mine is going to look a little different. Don't you just love the colors? They're perfect! So, of course, mine won't look anything like it. So far, my quilt is looking like a very large, and extremely complex, baby quilt. Sigh. Oh well, give me time. I'll spice it up. ; )

And yes, I know my Owl Quilt was supposed to be my new project splurge this year. And believe it or not, it's sitting here on the desk in front of me. I've been working on it this morning. But let's face it. It's applique. Not only is it guaranteed to not be finished this year, it's pretty much guaranteed to be my pet project for the decade! This Farmer's Market, complicated as it  looks, won't take nearly as long. That is if I stop cutting my fabric incorrectly. : (   It's a good thing that so many of the blocks take the same types of pieces. I can use those lights that I cut instead of the mediums in another spot later on. Now that's the kind of pattern I like! And if another block doesn't need those pieces? Why, I'll make some changes and create a block that does. I'm not wasting my fabric!

I'll take pictures of my fabrics soon. Naturally, I was supposed to pick out 24 darks - I have about 35. I was supposed to choose 39 lights and mediums - I have about 50 set aside. I have such a hard time choosing. I figure the right colors and fabrics will come to me as I need them. The rest will go back into my stash for the next quilt.

Back to work on my owls. I'm still "petalling" away!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

LOTS of quilt pictures!

I have lots of new pictures for you tonight! First is a photo of the fabrics that I used in a Turning Twenty Mystery Quilt that I started at a retreat several years ago. And, shhh! There's a secret! I'll tell you in a minute!

I had some of the blocks sewn together wrong from when I first worked on it years ago, so I avoided "unsewing" until this last weekend. I was finally in the mood to "redesign some seams," so I got started. This is the center before I got started on the borders. My last classes at work are Friday, so maybe I'll have some time to finish the borders this weekend and show them to you next week. By the way, please ignore the black weed blocker and rain water jugs in the background. I won't have time to tidy up outside until I get out for the summer. However, you may admire my diplendia blossoms in the background! : )

Now, are you ready for the surprise? I've finally finished my Harvest Quilt. Okay, okay, I still have one side of binding to finish. Anyway, I started both of these quilts at the same time. Why? They're both the same mystery quilt! What a difference fabric selection makes! I LOVE the rich colors of the Harvest quilt, while the pink quilt is a little too sugary for my tastes. I'll have to wait and see how it looks when it's finished.

Gratuitous Sinbad picture! He had to know what I was doing outside.

Here's a quilt you haven't seen before. Mom just quilted this little child's quilt for me last week, so I don't have it bound yet. I'm back to three quilts waiting to be bound now and another one that I just dropped off to mom this afternoon. Help!

By the way, did you recognize the leftover centers from this quilt? I hate to throw out leftovers. I just added in a bunch of coordinating colors in a simple 36 patch and sewed them together. Easy baby blanket!

My begonia half hidden by one of the diplendias.The diplendia keeps the begonia from getting too much sun. Don't you love the matching pots? Ooohh, Sinbad's getting a belly!

One of my clemetis plants in bloom. I have some mandevilla coming up beside it. Those blossoms should be open in a day or two. My, do I need to scrub my bird bath! Come on summer vacation!!! I need some outdoor time!

I bought a darling drooping tree. I want to plant it in the garden, but right now the weeds are taller than the tree! The poor thing will just have to live in a pot on my landing until it grows up some.

More quilt photos. Can you tell I'm in love with this Tonga Batik quilt? It's one of my favorites of all of my quilts, and, I hate to admit, the only quilt that I have ever made by completely following a pattern. Although I will say that it was a block of the month, but I used my own fabrics for it. It was supposed to be much darker, in rich cranberries and golds. The original was beautiful (and I've added the fabrics to my stash!), but I LOVE these cooler colors in blues and greens.

Okay, I'm all pictured out! I hope you enjoyed them.

See ya later,