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