Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Sisters Choice

One summer, several years ago, I made 9-patch blocks, all different sizes.

I used some of the 3" finished blocks in the Cherry Blossoms Quilt. There are a lot of 3" blocks left. 

I made many 4-1/2" finished 9 patches. I haven't done anything with them yet but I did sketch out an idea . . . someday!

I also sewed at least 100 6" finished 9-patches. Earlier this summer I turned to the queen of scrappy quilts (Bonnie Hunter of course) and see what she had on her Quiltville! blog for 6" 9-patches. I chose her Sisters Choice quilt.

Bonnie tells you to make flippy corners for her Star Points. I didn't want to make flippy corners. I know Bonnie raves about them because she loves the extra HST's for a future project but I think they are just a nuisance. 

I had the bright idea to cut my rectangles with the edges angled and then sew the colored HST's on those edges. By doing this way I don't need those nuisance extra HST's.

I'm sure this would have worked fine if I had used the correct length for the rectangles, but I didn't. The star point were too short for the 9-patches. I know, I should have checked earlier, but I thought I had done the math!

Now I could do one of 2 things, 1 - Make new 9-patches to fit the star points. 2 - Cut more fabric to make the correct size star points. 

I chose to do #3 - none of the above. I just trimmed down the 9-patches to fit the star points.

These blocks will measure 9-1/4" finished instead of the 10" they're supposed to be.

Have I created a new design? Isn't that how new quilt designs are made, by making mistakes? I'm still going to call it Sisters Choice.

I've been sewing these mutant flying geese when I'm in the mood to sew and I don't have anything else to work on at the moment. I'm making progress. After all 724 of them are sewn, I'll trim the 9 patches. I don't know when I'll get these blocks finished but a little sewing time here and there adds up.

Cynthia, from Quilting is More Fun than Housework, has asked us to list our favorite blogs. There are many blogs I enjoy reading, but I am going to just list a few. They all are quilters but they all have different interests in quilting.

Jo's Country Junction and Karen from Quilts.....Etc. They post everyday! Jo sometimes has an evening post too. These two are the first blogs I check every morning over a cup of coffee. Kathy Quilts has a link party on Sundays and promotes slow handwork. 

I enjoy all the blogs I link to. In some of the links, quilters from other countries link up. I get to travel to Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Canada and many other countries. Stitchin Farm GirlGlenda from Patchwork Dreams and Chris from Quilting at the Farm are just several from the very many blogs.

Linking to -  Quilt StoryEsther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew Fresh Quilts, Silly Mama Quilts, My Quilt Infatuation, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Love Laugh Quilt, Em's Scrapbag, Crazy Mom Quilts, Show Off Saturday

There are also blogs I enjoy reading that don't post very often. These are the quilters who are so busy making WOW! quilts they don't have time to post. Hilde from Every Stitch, Carla-A Few of My Favorite Things, Carole-Wheels on the Warrandyte Bus, Susan-Thimble Stitch, Mereth from Artful Sister.

Click on the sidebars of blogs or linky parties and visit someone new!

There are many other greats blogs out there but I can't list them all. Enjoy your reading! Have a good week. Blessings, Gretchen

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Pillowcases & Applique

Last week, if I had any down time during the day, I ran to my sewing machine and worked on the pillowcases. They're finished, all 15 of them. The fabrics include everything from Dr. Suess to breast cancer awareness fabrics. (I hope I never need to give those to someone!) I couldn't get all 15 on the clothesline at once but I am pleased they are completed. I do need to make one more set of cases, a king sized pair. I'll get to those in September.

In the evenings I worked on my applique blocks for the Pastor's Attic Quilt. I just realized, each block has a name (duh!).
I didn't have time to do a lot of prepping so I marked several blocks that I could do back-basting applique. I'm working on block 12 (because 11 has a LOT of pieces!) named Oak Leaves & Acorns. This week I should get 4 red oak leaves appliqued. 

A couple weeks ago the weather forecast was for rain. I had tilled some empty spaces in my garden then planted field radishes. We got rain; we've received a LOT of rain and the field radishes are up and growing.

The farmer has plowed the wheat field and we hope to sow it to alfalfa. Normally we seed our alfalfa by the middle of August, but this year is proving to be a challenging growing season for faming.

One of the perks of having grandparents who farm is riding in the tractor with grandpa. What is even better is when you are the only local grandchild old enough to ride in the tractor; you don't have to take turns!

And at the end of the day, you can say, it's been a good day, good job done.

I'm linking to - Kathy's Slow Sunday StitchingQuilting is More Fun than Housework, Em's Scrapbag, Quilt StoryEsther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew Fresh Quilts, Crazy Mom Quilts, Show Off Saturday.

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, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Show Off Saturday.

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.