Sunday, August 21, 2016

Vintage Candy Cane Snowman

The new grandchild arrived Monday morning at 3am, a healthy baby boy. My DIL's mother has been here for the week so I didn't have baby care but I had the 4-year-old part of the time.


I had an inquiry about the Pastor's Attic Quilt. The title of the book says A Baltimore Album - 25 Applique Patterns by Marsha D. Radtke. On page 9 of the introduction, Marsha talks about find the quilt in the attic of her parsonage/home. She calls the quilt The Pastor's Attic. This is the name I have chosen to call the quilt. If I called it The Baltimore Album quilt, how would you know which one I'm referring to since there are hundreds of Baltimore Album patterns?

This book is copyrighted 2009. I purchased it in '09 or'10. I had been appliqueing long enough that I wanted a project more challenging than what I had been working on, but I wanted the blocks to be more simple.  So many applique blocks are too cluttered for my taste.

This picture is from when I purchased the fabrics for the quilt. You notice the book has a spiral binding. When I want a book to lay flat so I can easily trace the picture, I take it to Office Max or Staples and have them put a spiral binding on. It doesn't cost much at all and the book will open flat.

The Baltimore Album, The Pastor's Attic Quilt, was published by AQS. I checked their web-site and they still have it in stock as an e-book. Check this link if you are interested. If you are a member of AQS, you can purchase it for $16, non-members $20. 

Anyway, I didn't get any prepping done this week for the Pastor's Attic quilt. So . . . I did this!


Last spring I had pulled several small embroidery projects I had hoped to work on this summer and prepped a few of them. Vintage Candy Cane Snowman was ready to go, so he has been my evening stitching project.

This pattern is for a pillow but I am going to turn it into a simple, small wallhanging.

I had to pull out my embroidery book to see how fly stitches and feather stitches are embroidered. I've never embroidered those stitches before.
This was so much fun, I started embroidering and couldn't put it down! I completed the needlework in one week.

I'm planning on putting this snowman into a picture frame, but I now need to get a frame so I can see what size to make the wallhanging.

Early last week, I had planned to print out the patterns for the Pastor's Attic Quilt so I could trace them onto the background fabric, but I was low on paper. I picked up printer paper Friday and printed off the rest of the blocks. Now I need to get them taped together and start tracing them. This will be a slow prep job. 

I'm linking to - Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching, Quilting is More Fun Than Housework, Em's Scrapbag, Love Laugh Quilt, Super Mom - No CapeQuilt StoryEsther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew Fresh Quilts, Silly Mama QuiltsMy Quilt Infatuation.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Pastor's Attic Applique Block

I've completed block 10 of the Pastor's Attic Quilt! I'm always amazed that adding just a little bit of black brightens up a quilt block.








Here is the layout for the first two rows I've completed so far. Sorry the right side is darker. 

I've rearranged some of the blocks in the layout. The top left block will be turned so the vase will be the outside point, but I turned it this way for now so it would be easier for you to see. There are more blocks with vases to applique with a straight set. I think I'll put one of them on point and switch out the top right block. The other corners have flowers with vases, that corner should too. 

The blocks look much more vibrant in real life. I'm excited all over again about this project. I had been wondering if I should just stop with the blocks I've completed but no, I'm going to keep going.

When I started appliqueing these blocks last winter, I had marked the first 10 blocks with the light box. Now I need to prep the next 15 blocks. This may take awhile!


I mentioned last post that I had prepped a sewing project. Pillowcases make such wonderful gifts and they're a lot faster than quilts too.

I made this pillowcase for me. The pillowcase body has tiny little snaps and the header is buttons. I made 2 of these; the other one will be gifted to a quilty friend.

Because the Farmer is a big basketball fan, I made his pillowcase with basketball fabric.

I normally assembly line sew pillowcases, but I made these special for us to use right away.

There are a lot more pillowcases to be sewn. These are the perfect summer sewing project, I can easily pick up and sew for whatever time is available, then they patiently wait until I'm able to get back to them. Sometimes it is several days between sewing sessions. 

Around the farm and garden . . .

We didn't receive much rain in July and August didn't have any rain for the first 12 days. In anticipation of the rain, I tilled the empty spaces in the garden and sowed field radishes. They will pop up and suppress the weeds. I try to keep the garden as weed free as possible, it saves more work in the long run.


The tomato plants are going crazy. There are a lot of green tomatoes so I should have plenty for canning when they ripen. 





The green beans are blooming again so there will be more beans later in the week.



We baled this alfalfa field 3 weeks ago. Fourth cutting will happen in maybe two weeks.

This heifer saw me taking pictures of the garden and came to see if I had a snack for her.










My chicks are checking out the nesting boxes even though they won't be laying eggs for several months.


When the chicks were smaller, I had this feeder sitting on the floor of their pen. They crawled into it to eat. Now they are much taller and can easily reach the feed while they stand on the floor, but they still like to crawl in the feeder to eat.







I snapped this photo of the young barn swallows perching on the electric wire that stretches from the west barn to a heifer shed. Sometimes the wire is completely full of birds. 

The lily hostas are in full bloom. They smell so good. They blend well with the pink impatience.



We don't have the creepy-crawlers around here like Glenda has at her home but these garden spiders are everywhere this time of year.

This spider's body is about 1" in length. I don't mind them; they catch insects.

I'm linking up to Kathy's Slow Sunday StitchingQuilting is More Fun than Housework, Em's Scrapbag, Love Laugh QuiltQuilt StoryEsther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew Fresh Quilts,  My Quilt Infatuation, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Show Off Saturday.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

A Little Bit of Applique

The Farmer left early Tuesday morning with a trailer load of cows and headed for the Ohio State Fair. He exhibited the cattle in the open class Guernsey show; heifers on Friday and the milking cows on Saturday. This is an annual journey for him, his vacation, as he calls it. He returned home late Saturday evening. 

This means, while he is gone, I'm in charge of the farm! I am very thankful that the work went smoothly this year; no sick cows or problems with calving; no problems with the milker motor or vacuum pump. No storms that knocked the electric off line. The only problem, the belt that turns the reel on the haybine shredded so I didn't get the hayfield mowed, but that was a minor irritation.


My biggest challenge was getting up at 4:30 am every morning! I was really dragging in the evening, so my slow, before bedtime stitching didn't happen every evening. But I did manage to get the stems and the bias ring on the block. 

I hope to have the rest of the block finished by next Sunday, but we might possibly have a new grandson arriving this week which will change the applique process.

There was NO sewing on the sewing machine this week, but I did do a bit of prep work for a sewing project. Perhaps I will have something to show you next post.

I hope you all have a peaceful week. 

I'm linking to Kathy's Slow Sunday StitchingQuilting is More Fun than Housework, Em's Scrapbag, Love Laugh QuiltEsther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew Fresh Quilts, Silly Mom QuiltsMy Quilt Infatuation, Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

A Pillow & the Pastor's Attic Quilt


In April, my friend Carol asked me to make a pillow. Carol's sister had embroidered quilt blocks and then gave them to Carol. Carol sewed the blocks together and hand quilted the quilt. There was one block left, so she quilted it, then asked me to make a pillow with that block because she had never made a pillow. I said yes but you know what? I've never made a pillow either! I can finally cross this project off the list. I think she turned out pretty good but I don't want to make another one. Carol is going to stuff the pillow, I didn't have to do that.


Slowly, a little sewing each evening, and the next Pastor's Attic quilt block has been completed. I like this block, the embroidered stems are a nice change. The embroidery in the vase looks good too, so much easier than appliquing narrow strips of fabric.


The next block has been prepped and I've started on her. When this block is finished, I'll have completed the first 2 rows of the quilt, just 15 more blocks to go!

Everyone has their own way to applique. I see some people glue all their pieces on then applique them down. I can't do that, I need to just applique piece by piece. The stems for these red buds will be back basted applique. 
When I was in Wakarusa last week, I took a picture of the Quilt Garden. I was unable to get the whole garden in the picture. Sorry.



The design is 1895 Star Puzzle. Click the photo for more information.







What is going on around the farm and garden?

I've always enjoyed driving tractor. One day, while the farmer was running errands, I mowed down a field of hay. The next day I raked the rows double; this is what it looks like. Rows that are already raked are on the left. On the right sides the hay is flat in the windrows. The rake turns one row onto the next row. 


This hay is high moisture hay. The baler bales them into big bales then they are wrapped in plastic. It ferments and turns into baylage which we feed in the winter. The cattle love it!

I wrote a detailed post dated May 28, 2014, about baling high moisture hay on my Word Press blog. You can read that post here
The wheat kernals that fell from the combine during wheat harvest have sprouted. The stems are 3" - 4" tall. Every morning several flocks of Canadian Geese fly into the field and graze. I was able to get pretty close to them for the picture. The different groups do not co-mingle, they stay in their separate flock.


I'm still freezing green beans but the plants are slowing down. I don't pull the plants when they stop yielding. After several weeks they will start blossoming again and there will be more green beans.


In late spring I plant my Amaryllis bulbs in the garden. Some summers some of the bulbs bloom. I would rather they didn't bloom in the summer but save their energy to bloom in the winter. The flowers are more appreciated in the winter than summer. Behind the Amaryllis are potato plants.

I'm linking to - Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching, Quilting is More Fun than Housework, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh Quilt, Super Mom - No Cape!, Esther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew Fresh QuiltsMy Quilt Infatuation, Confessions of a Fabric AddictA Quilting Reader's Garden

Sunday, July 17, 2016

2 Finishes, Embroidery & Applique

The little Houses Wallhanging is finished and is hanging on the wall! She measures 22" square and was a perfect small summer project.

This was a kit from Rachel's of Greenfield. The instructions were very well written and easy to understand. 


A view of my hand-quilting on the backside of the wall quilt. I normally don't add a sleeve to the back of my wallhangings, but I did this project.






Last winter I had pieced a Snowflake Zippy-Strippy quilt and gave it to DIL 1. I started another Zippy-Strippy in June and finished her up in July. This quilt is for DIL 2. She likes red so I choose a jelly-roll from the In Stitches collection designed by Robin Kingsley for Maywood Studio.

I changed up the pattern so she would be longer and not as wide. She finishes at 59" x 84"


She was quilted on my sewing machine. I'm getting more accurate following the marked curves. It helps a lot to slow down the stitching speed. I still did straight line quilting in the center. I have a curvy line stitch on my sewing machine and I had intended to elongate the stitch and use that for quilting. Unfortunately, that stitch did not allow me to elongate so I just went with straight stitching.

Do some of these fabrics look familiar? I'm using fabrics from the same collection to applique the Pastor's Attic blocks.


I've prepped the next block in the Pastor's Attic quilt. The thin stems are supposed to be embroidered using 1 strand in the chain stitch. I decided to go with an outline stitch.

I also decided to not use fabric stems for the other stems. The flower stems are a double row of 3 strand chain stitch. The more narrow stems are a single row of 3 strand chain stitch. I'm liking they way they look. 
There is a vase at the bottom of this block with an inset center. I was supposed to applique 1/8th" strips on the red fabric then reverse applique the vase on top. I went with outline stitch embroidery. 

I do slow stitching every evening, not just on Sundays.

This is the end of the quilt section so you can quit reading if that is all you want to read about.


My garden is doing well. The broccoli plants have been pulled and fed to the heifers. The garlic and the shallots have been pulled and are curing before being stored away. I picked 2/3-rds of a 5 gallon pail of green beans Friday, the freezing process has started. The new potatoes are delicious and cabbage tastes so much better when it comes straight from the garden.


The above photo was taken on Saturday, July 9th. We harvested the wheat the following Monday. The rest of the week was about getting the straw baled. We did it! 

In farming there are really just 2 seasons. Winter and preparing for winter.


My flowering sunflowers have started flowering. Wouldn't a whole field of these be beautiful? 


The last of the barn swallows have flown away. These 3 little fledglings were brave enough to make the plunge soon after this picture was taken.




I planted a couple dark purple phlox plants around 25 years ago or so. They crossed with some white phlox and have hybridized themselves into these lovely white flowers with a touch of lavender. I'm so enjoying my summer flowers.


My meat chickens are now residing in the chest freezer. These new chicks will grow up to become laying hens. There are two kinds of chicks; the yellow chicks are Golden Comets and the black/brown/beige ones are Auracanas. The Auracanas lay eggs with blue or green shells. The egg inside tastes the same as the brown shelled eggs.

I'm linking up to - Kathy's Slow Sunday StitchingQuilting is More Fun than Housework, Em's Scrapbag, Super Mom-No CapeLove Laugh QuiltQuilt StoryEsther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew Fresh Quilts, My Quilt InfatuationConfessions of a Fabric AddictA Quilting Reader's GardenCrazy Mom Quilts.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Sweet Surrender

I've finished the last 7 Sweet Surrender blocks!


I went with circles for the large flower.











Circles again.











I really like this block, one of my favorites. I used circles for the large flower. You can't see it, but I did use 2 different yellows but the fabrics are similar and don't show a difference.





Fussy cutting was used for the circles in this flower.









The large flower is the last of the EPP flowers I had fussy cut. I'm not pleased with the curly tail, but I am not redoing it.







This EPP block was made before I started Sweet Surrender using 1/2" hexies. I wanted to see if there was much difference between 1/2" and the 5/8" flowers. There was some difference but not a lot. I decided to go ahead and use this hexie flower. I don't like this curly tail either.


The last block! I am thinking of possibly adding some embroidery to the center of the large leaves. I am so glad the curly tail turned out nice on this block, a pleasant way to finish.

I'm putting this project away until fall, October or November. I need to copy the foundation paper piecing papers. I'm tired of this project for now and I'll be refreshed by fall.

I basted this little wallhanging for hand quilting. I plan to quilt all the stitch in the ditch stitching. When that is completed, I'll mark the detail quilting. It is fun to be quilting again, a nice change from the applique.




Linking up to - Kathy's Slow Sunday StitchingQuilting is More Fun than Housework, Em's Scrapbag, Love Laugh Quilt, A Quilted Passion, Esther's Wednesday WOW!My Quilt Infatuation, Let's Bee Social, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Crazy Mom Quilts

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sweetpea Pods & Sit & Stitch

Last winter I bought a couple of patterns to make some small projects. I finally got around to them this week.






First I made the Sit & Stitch Pincushion. I've had my eye on this fabric at Pumpkinvine ever since they got it into the store. 

The patterns calls for fat quarters, but I bought yardage. The pink binding was leftover from another project. I whipped up the yellow binding, it make a nice contrast.


You don't need to use bias binding for edging on the pockets. I had the blue left over from another project.

You are supposed to sew in the center of both sides to make more pockets, but I only sewed on 1 side. I wanted some longer pockets. In the center is a long pincushion filled with walnut hulls. 

Updated 6/12, 7 pm - I made some modifications in the pattern. The pattern calls for only 1 pocket on each side. I cut the first pocket 5 1/2" and added a 2nd pocket which I cut at 3 1/2". Also the patterns calls for fusible fleece. I stuck leftover cotton batting to the fabric with Elmer's school glue stick. 

One of the kits is for me and the others will be gifts. 


You get 2 Sweetpea Pods from 1 10" square. I made 14 pods. Four of the pods will be used as Christmas presents (filled with little treats) for the granddaughters at Christmas time. The rest of the pods will be given as small gifts here and there. I just like having items like this on hand so they are ready to go when the occasion arises.

These little bags were fun to make and sewed up quickly.

Update - This pattern also called for fusible fleece. Again I used leftover batting attached with Elmer's school glue stick.
Another Update - Here is more information about the bags from the Lazy Girl Designs website.


I prepped the last 7 applique blocks for Sweet Surrender. I'm in the home stretch! The rest of June is going to be very busy for me so I don't know how much sewing I'll accomplish. Hand applique will definitely be happening in my down time though. 

Linking to - Kathy's Slow Sunday StitchingQuilting is More Fun than Housework, Main  Crush Monday, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh QuiltQuilt StoryEsther's Wednesday WOW!My Quilt Infatuation, A Quilting Reader's GardenCrazy Mom Quilts