Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Calico Stars

I've started the 2nd quilt from the 1st 2020 issue of Block. I noticed on the cover of Block, it doesn't call itself a magazine, it says Idea Book.

This quilt is called Calico Stars and uses a layer cake. I'm using a Summer Breeze layer cake that is dated 2008, time to move it out!

My quilt is going to be twin sized so I used 28 10" squares.

The units are pieced and I've started putting them on the design wall.

I only have room for 2 complete blocks at a time.

Isn't this pretty?

Then I decided I had better check the directions and make sure I'm setting the units correctly.

Whoops, wrong, this is the correct set.

Now I'm adding the broken dishes units.

This is a correct block.

Part of the fun of making quilts blocks is moving the units around to see what other designs you can come up with.

This is an incorrect setting but I'm just playing. 

This way has the broken dishes set correctly but, no, doesn't excite me.

Let's set them differently. 
Better but still not great.

The pattern way. I think this does look like the best setting.

It's so much fun to make quilts that come together faster than my normal projects! 

Now, back to sewing!

Linking to To Do Tuesday, Clever ChameleonMidweek MakersWednesday Wait Loss, Put Your Foot DownNeedle & Thread Thursday

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Redwork Finished

The redwork for the Christmas quilt is finished. I thought I could remember all the blocks I embroidered since the last time but I couldn't. There are more blocks than these but this is a good selection.

Some of the blocks look a lot like what has been shown before. There are several of the same designs that are different sizes.

I pressed these blocks with a hot iron to remove the pen markings. Now they are carefully hanging on a hanger in the to be quilted closet even though they're not ready for quilting. I think hanging projects makes them less wrinkly then folding them.

All the embroidery has been worked in 3 strands of DMC embroidery thread. I used both variegated and solid red thread.

These embroideries were designed by Gail Pan and were selected from two of her books, Christmas Patchwork Loves Embroidery and Simply Christmas No. 3.

Now I need to get the next quilt marked and in the frame to show you next Sunday.

Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

KathyMargaretEmmaTracyDebSusan,  Nanette,  EdithSharonKarrinGretchenKathi,  BellaDaisy and Connie

Linking to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching,  Oh Scrap, Bambi's Show & Tell MondayMonday Making, Design Wall Monday, BOM's Away

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Summer Stars

This year I decided to subscribe to Block magazine from the Missouri Star Quilt Co. The first issue came February 20th, the same day I was leaving for Phoenix. I stuck it in my bag so I could peruse it while I was on my vacation.

I selected several patterns I wanted to make with some of the precuts I had on hand. When I told someone I was going to make some quilts from this magazine, they told me they didn't like MSQ patterns, they weren't challenging enough.

I wasn't looking for challenging patterns, I've made several quilts that took years from start to finish. I wanted fast and easy.

The first quilt to be made from Volume 1, 2020 of Block is Summer Stars. MSQ has the pattern for sale but you can watch the tutorial for free. Just click it and watch.

This really is a fast and easy pattern. I cut the pieces last Friday afternoon and started sewing Saturday. I finished on Monday. That's a record for me! It even finished at the same size the pattern said it would, that's another record!

Edited - I forgot to say that I didn't use the special ruler they called for. I used the 45* line on my regular long ruler. Worked just fine!

This is the first time I've ever made wonky stars and some of those stars are really weird but they're pieced.

I used a 30's jelly roll, I knew I wanted to make this quilt so I purchased the border fabric before the 'official' isolation started.

For now it's waiting in the 'to be quilted closet'.

As usual there was a breeze while I was trying to photograph the quilt on the clothesline. 

These heifers were recently turned into this pasture, they've never experienced a quilt photo shoot so I took a picture of them by theirselves.

Linking to To Do Tuesday, Clever ChameleonMidweek MakersWednesday Wait Loss, Put Your Foot Down, Needle & Thread Thursday

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Floral Triangles is Finished!

Floral Triangles is completely, 100% finished! The oldest posts for this quilt were posted in January 2016 but I know there have to be older ones somewhere. I appliqued these triangles at the same time as the Pastor's Attic blocks, alternately between the two projects.

The pattern I used for Floral Triangles is Sweet Surrender designed by Sue Cody, this pattern is no longer available for purchase. I changed the name because I didn't like the name Sweet Surrender: my quilt, my name.

A Hobbs wool batting was used as the batting while Floral Triangles was hand quilted using a variety of threads. For stitching in the ditch around the applique, I used YLI hand quilting thread. Cotton Sulky #12 threads were used for the borders and the diamond background. 

I love how the borders look, I am so glad I didn't take the time to applique the borders. I like this so much better than the applique border from the pattern.

I often keep track of the yards of thread used when I hand quilt but I didn't this time. There were so many different threads, I wasn't up to the challenge of keeping track. However I can say with certainly, there is more than 400 yards of the thread used for quilting the diamonds. I finished the first spool of thread when I was quilting row 5. That spool held 400 yards of thread. For a rough estimate I'd say there is over 700 yards of the varying threads, especially since I stitched in the ditch around all the applique.

Floral Triangles was put into the quilting frame last August but I really didn't get going with the quilting until October. There is a lot of outside work in the summer/fall to keep me occupied.

After all these years of making quilts, I'm still amazed how quilting brings the quilt to life.

There was a slight breeze outside but the quilt is heavy enough it didn't blow much.

Floral Triangles measures 90" by 103" but I think I will wash her to remove the light pencil marks used for marking, sometime. She'll probably shrink some.

The back looks pretty interesting too.

Some day this quilt will be gifted to one of my grandchildren but not yet!

Linking to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching,  Oh Scrap, Bambi's Show & Tell MondayMonday MakingDesign Wall MondayBOM's Away

Saturday, April 18, 2020

RSC Blues

I sewed 12 blue RSC blocks this week but I used all shades of blues, not just the lights.

I'm calling my project Modern Amish even though the original name is Sound Check

There are 4 shades of grays for background fabric.

Linking to Scrap Happy Saturday

Thursday, April 16, 2020

John Deere Flimsy Completed

I finished the John Deere quilt flimsy last Thursday but getting pictures was a challenge. We live on top of a hill with the clothesline on the west side of the house. The prevailing wind is from the west/northwest. 

I finally gave up on the clothesline and went round to the east side. The flimsy is laying on the porch steps.

I did try draping it on the old tree stump in the yard but it was far enough from the house for the wind to catch. I really didn't feel like running down in the cow pasture if the wind blew it away.

I used 2" strips for the log cabin blocks, I also used some 2-1/2" strips then trimmed the blocks to size. 

The flimsy measures 90" by 99" and will be long arm quilted. But of course there's a waiting list for long arm quilting but I'm on the list!

This will never be my favorite quilt but I like it and I think I've really improved the look from the original panel.

Readers seemed to enjoy reading my last post about life here on the farm. Some mentioned they passed it onto their grandchildren to enjoy.

Here is a link to my old blog, Gretchen's Little Corner which was through Word Press. I talked a lot about the farm on the old blog. If you look through the categories listed on the right hand side, you see the topic of the post. Children (adults too) might enjoy reading and learning about farm life. The most important thing to remember though, this is just a snippet of farm life on OUR farm. Every farm is different and our farm is not as modern as most.

Linking to Needle & Thread Thursday, Put Your Foot DownPeacock Party, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, TGIFF!, Brag About Your Beauties, Finished Or Not Friday, UFO Busting

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Life on the Farm

Our life on the farm hasn't changed much, farmers are fairly isolated to begin with. The cows still have to be milked twice a day, the milk truck comes every other day to pick up the milk and take it to the plant for processing, cow feed is delivered very 10 days and the farmer drives to the mill weekly to pick up bagged feed for the heifers.

We're starting to get geared up for spring planting. The fuel truck has come and filled the farm tanks with diesel fuel and gasoline. Seeds have been delivered and planting will begin once the soil is warmer and dry. The alfalfa is greening up and growing, soon we'll start baling hay, hopefully the first of May. 

Also we've opened the gates so the cows can get down to the permanent pasture. We're very happy when that happens, so are the cows! I think most of the pictures are self explanatory but in case you don't speak cow 'talk' I'll make some comments.

When I went outside, the cows were lined up and waiting. They knew something was going to happen but weren't sure what.

Finally, the gate is opened and they're off!

Get out of the way!

Can you see, these cows are running?

Is this how we will act when the all clear is sounded and we head to our favorite LQS?

Which way should I go?

They always run straight ahead . . .

then turn to the left at the corner of the field, they're still running.

The north side of the pasture grows faster than the south  section. There's an electric fence wire running through the field to keep them in the north section. 

They don't run through the wire, they turn toward the east again.

They've had a good run, now they need to establish hierarchy in the herd.

The excitement was all over an hour later and they were grazing quietly and peacefully.

Our younger son and his family live in a separate house on our farm. We're trying to keep the grandsons lives as normal as we can. The 3 year old isn't hard but 7 is more challenging.

One of the activities has been to pick up all the sticks that came out of the trees over winter.

I sent the sticks home with them, told them they could burn them when their family has their next hot dog roast.

Weekly grocery shopping is not my normal, my last stockup shopping was March 23rd. I have a large chest freezer with plenty of vegetables, meat and fruit. We drink the milk our cows produce and I have my own laying hens. 

But I did leave the the farm to make a trip to a local seed (seeds as in corn, soybeans, wheat and such) & supply business.

Several years ago the owner's wife added a greenhouse/garden supply business to the original seed & supply. I bought onion starts, broccoli and cabbage plants then planted garden later that day. Guess you could say I went grocery shopping in a way.

I was the only customer and had all the vegetables starts and flowers to myself. I couldn't resist these beauties when I walked passed the display of pansies/violas. A few packs came home with me and I repotted them into a couple of planters.

The daffodils are all open, adding a touch of sunlight even on cloudy, overcast days. The flowers permanently face east because the wind blows them that way.

Linking to To Do Tuesday, Midweek Makers, Clever Chameleon, Wednesday Wait Loss

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Christmas Redwork

Easter is different this year with no family gatherings but we're still celebrating the same resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Have a blessed day celebrating the true reason for Easter.

For those of you who are reading today's post in hopes of seeing a finished Floral Triangles quilt, sorry, didn't happen. The cutting table was covered with fabrics to be used in the John Deere quilt. I didn't want to move that stuff to trim Floral Triangles.

The John Deere flimsy is finished (post coming next week) and the table is cleared. Floral Triangles has had the excess backing and batting trimmed, she's ready to have the binding sewn. 

But now I'm embroidering the label. I've had months to make the label but I procrastinated until FT was finished. You all will just have to wait until next week.

I have been spending the time I would have spent quilting working on redwork embroidery. I haven't touched this project since I came back from Phoenix in February.

I've decided I'm not going to put another quilt in the quilting frame until the redwork is finished. I want to get the embroidery completed, there's an applique project I want to start, sound familiar?

These little embroideries are small and work up very fast. I can easily embroidery 1 or 2 in a evening. If I knew how, I'd make a collage of the blocks but I don't, so here they are, single file. Most of these embroideries are 3" in size. You'll see markings from the frixion pen. I'm a sloppy marker and didn't take the time to press the blocks.

I was working on this block. I took it out of the hoop because I needed the hoop to embroider the label for Floral Triangles.

All the embroidery has been worked in 3 strands of DMC embroidery thread. I used both variegated and solid red thread.

These embroideries were designed by Gail Pan and were selected from two of her books, Christmas Patchwork Loves Embroidery and Simply Christmas No. 3.

I'm sorry I haven't posted since last Sunday, that's not what I intended to happen but that's how life went this week here on the farm.

Linking to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching,  Oh Scrap, Bambi's Show & Tell MondayMonday MakingDesign Wall MondayBOM's Away