Sunday, October 30, 2022

Welsh Beauty, A Sunday Finish!

Welsh Beauty is completed FINISHED!!!!!!! Completely finished, labeled and bound!!!!!!

The hand quilting process started in August 2021, the first post was in September.

After the binding was finished, Welsh Beauty was rinsed (not washed because I didn't add any detergent) and rinsed on the delicate cycle of my washing machine with cold water. She really shrank! I didn't measure before washing but the package said the quilt was 90" by 108". After washing she now measures 83" by 101" using cold water!

The blue quilting thread doesn't show up very well in the pictures. I took the quilt back to the farmhouse to use the quilt line on the porch.

The cross hatched squares measured 1" before washing, after washing they measured 3/4".

Here is a picture of the side swags.

A close up of the quilting from one of the corners.

The backing fabric was a brown figured whole cloth fabric. I didn't want muslin on the back, it's already on the front! I had originally planned to use a variegated brown thread but changed my mind and used variegated blue thread instead.

A hand quilted quilt needs a hand embroidered label. I took this picture in a different room, the blue thread shows better. 

A total of 902 yards of thread were used in quilting. 

People always ask what I'm going to do with a quilt. I'm keeping this one for sure, eventually it will end up with one of my grandchildren but hopefully that's many years away. 

Welsh Beauty will be displayed/used on the guest room bed while our daughter is here for a short visit. Then she (the quilt) will go along to retreat with me, she's my show & tell! I'll also put her on my bed in the motel room. Why have an ordinary boring motel cover when I can have a nice quilt? When I return home, she'll go back on the company bed. 

Here is a link to my first post about Welsh Beauty

Several people have asked me what top is next in the quilting frame, I don't know for sure, perhaps Lady Jane? However I'm extremely burnt out on hand quilting, the next quilt won't start before December, maybe even later.

Linking to Kathys Slow Stitching Sunday, Stitching Stuff, Oh Scrap, Monday Musings, Handmade Monday, Design Wall Monday, Craftastic Monday

Friday, October 28, 2022

Arrowhead Quilt Finish

In my last post I said I was going to work at finishing projects.

 While I was digging through stuff, trying to decide which project to work at, I came across this little arrowhead quilt

For backing and binding I used green fabric. The quilting shows better on the back of the quilt. 

I stitched 1/2" from the horizontal and vertical seam lines of the block then diagonally both directions of the X in the center of the blocks.

This little quilt has finished 25.5" by 32.5".

At the spring retreat, I was given a bag with fabric yardage. The ladies donating the fabric requested it be used for charity quilts. I have used several large pieces of that yardage for comforter backing. 

Also in that bag was this little wall quilt. I had stuck it in the bag with the arrowhead flimsy. I quilted that quilt after I finished the arrowhead quilt.

I used black fabric for the backing and binding of this quilt. This little quilt is 30" square.

I'm going to drop these little quilts off at our local nursing home the next time I'm in Wakarusa for use as lap quilts. Hopefully they're small enough they won't be caught in wheelchair tires.

I didn't wash the quilts, I'll let the nursing home do that. These maybe small finishes but they're finishes!

This is the view off of our north porch. We have a lot of trees at the new place but we're used to trees and leaves. 

We're settled in now and it feels like home! 

Several people expressed concern about me being warm in my basement sewing space during the winter.  To be honest, it never occurred to me that heat wouldn't be installed in the basement of a new house. Even the cellar in our old farmhouse was warm from the heat of the furnace. The new house has heat ducts so I'm just fine.

Dampness is a larger concern to me. I ran the dehumidifier all summer long, in fact I just unplugged it earlier this week.

Linking to Needle & Thread Thursday, Put Your Foot Down, TGIFF!, Peacock Party, Whoop Whoop Party, Finished or Not  Friday, Off the Wall Friday, Patchwork & Quilts

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

What's Next?

Moving has put a pause on most of my quilting projects but most of the stuff has  been moved. It's handy when you're moving only 2 miles.

So what is my next quilting project going to be? I think Nanette had the right idea when she said she's not going to start any new projects for the rest of this year, just finish projects she's already started. 

That's what I'm going to do too, finish projects!

I have a container that has a strings of miscellaneous widths. While I was digging through that box, I found log cabin blocks that were started sometime but don't know when! I decided to enlarge these blocks until they were 8.5". (First project on my new display wall!)

These blocks were fun to make because they were mindless sewing! They are also very scrappy.

I don't make my log cabin blocks like most people do, I sew strips on 2 sides at a time, a dark strip and a light strip then I trim 2 sides then sew strips on the other 2 sides. It works for me! Since my blocks get trimmed, they don't looks as wonky as Bonnie Hunter's wonky blocks.

There are 54 blocks are finished but I need 26 more to have enough for at least a 60" by 80" charity quilt. 

I'll make more blocks later, now it's time to concentrate on prepping for the upcoming Jane Stickle retreat in November. I'll be taking at least 1 project that has been started.

And yes, my display wall is made with 2 insulation boards that I covered separately with the top sheet of older flannel sheets. They work just fine and I saved a lot of $$!

You can see that the bottoms are curved, that was a happy accident. It's easier for me to put quilt blocks on the bottom since they curve out.

It was also easier for me to handle an individual board than both of them taped together.

Linking to To Do TuesdayMidweek Makers, Wednesday Wednesday Wait Loss, Put Your Foot Down,  Needle & Thread Thursday , Oh Scrap

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Welsh Beauty

Another row of Welsh Beauty has been quilted! I'm so close to a finish!!!

Here is this section of quilting, from the right side of the quilt to the left side.

I didn't take pictures of all of the swags but there are 5 of these swags in the center of the quilt.

This picture is taken from the opposite side of the quilt. You can see where the quilt top is pinned to the ticking. You can also see part of the wool batting under the ticking.

You can see the top of the quilt that needs to be quilted, I can reach all of it so the next time I post about Welsh Beauty, the hand quilting will be finished!

It's those pins that make the weird bumpy marks after I roll but they always disappear. 

The quilting frame hasn't made it to the new house yet. Despite Kathi's assurances that you can remove a partially quilted quilt then put it back in the frame just fine, I decided to leave the quilt in the frame at the farm house. I don't quilt every afternoon but often enough to make progress.

Besides, the quilting frame is going to be set up in my sewing space in the basement of the new place. We'll have to put the rods through the egress window to get it down there!

Friday, October 21, 2022

My Sewing Space

Today's post is about my sewing space. Often when you see a blogger post about their new or updated sewing space, they've gone to Ikea and have beautiful white furniture. And usually their space is bright with natural sunshine coming through the windows.

My space isn't like that. My sewing space is in the basement and has an egress window for natural light. And, the basement is not finished.

However I also see pictures of quilters who have their sewing machine on their kitchen table or in a bedroom. Then I realize how fortunate I am to have a whole basement for my sewing space.  I can go upstairs, shut the door and no one will see my mess!

One of my summer activities was painting part of the basement walls white.

I had huge closets upstairs in the farmhouse that I stored a lot of quilting things. There aren't any closets down here so everything is spread out.

I do have a much larger display wall in the basement than I had at the farmhouse. I used two 8' insulation boards. Apparently the ceiling in the basement isn't quite 8' but that has worked out ok. It's harder than it used to be to reach down to the bottom of a flat surface. Curving out like these boards do makes it easier to put blocks down there.

Can you see at the top of the picture I've had lights installed to shine on the display wall? It was rather amusing trying to explain to a handyman, who's wife doesn't even own a sewing machine, what the use of the lights were for.

To cover the insulation boards, I used the top flannel sheet left when the bottom sheets wore out. They still have napp and they works just fine. I taped the sheets to the boards individually because that's how big the sheets were, but it was also easier for me to handle one board at a time.

I also had the handyman install LED lights in the basement so I would have better lighting.

Since I have organized my sewing space, I've realized I need more LED lights. There is going to be a light installed above my ironing board and along the support posts.

My cutting table is our old kitchen table, the Farmer bought it at some auction before we were married. When we got our new table, I repurposed it. Notice the extensions on the legs. Originally I used just  the PVC pipes but it still wasn't quite tall enough and I got backaches. Those bed risers added the necessary height, no more backaches!

See those papers stuck to the joists, that is where the additional LED lights are to be installed.

This is my sewing setup. The cabinet was the heaviest thing to be carried down the steps. The Farmer asked me several times if I was sure I wanted the cabinet down the stairs, YES! 

The former owner left these cubbies here for my use. She was unable to fit them anywhere in her new home. The brown chest of drawers was purchased at an auction and I painted it brown.

The little shelf to the right of the brown chest of drawers was purchased for $5 at a resale store. Our local son said it looks like someone's first woodworking project. Maybe so but it holds stuff and that's what I care about.

I know it looks like a crack in the foundation wall but it isn't, the wall is safe. My nephew said there are two types of foundations walls, those with cracks and those that are going to crack.

Here is the west wall. The Farmer put 2 hangers in the joists to hang the ferns. One pot is a lot smaller because I tore it apart before bringing it into the house. The sitting ferns came from that plant.

I really downsized my books and magazines before we moved. That bookshelf also came from an auction, I painted it blue.

As I'm writing this post, the handyman is in the basement now installing more LED lights. He wasn't able to finishing installing the additional LED lights in one afternoon, he said he would come back in 3 or 4 days. He was going to drive to Illinois that evening to help his 82 year old FIL with harvesting. It was pouring rain here but dry in Illinois!

I've said before our weather is affected by Lake Michigan. We get normal system rain/snow, however we also get lake effect rain/snow. This is what it looked like Tuesday afternoon, October 17 here in northern Indiana, lake effect snow!

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

The Guest Bedroom, Bathroom & My Office

Today I'm going to show you the guest bedroom, bathroom and my office.

The Farmer was so naive, we bought a house so we could just move in, right? Ha, ha, ha, ha . . . . No!

This house was built by Bob & Debbie. Debbie liked brown and gray. Gray is fine in quilts but not on walls, especially in northern Indiana where the sun doesn't shine very often in the winter thanks to the Lake Michigan effect.

The week after we bought the house I painted the walls in the guest bedroom and the office. The white color is called Winter's Dawn, I don't remember what the blue is called but hey, it's my house and I like blue! Also darker blue is a good accent and it nicely displays quilts that have a light outside border.

First the guest bedroom . . .

On the bed I have the twin sized chicken quilt I made before I started blogging. I don't remember the name of the pattern. The chicken quilt is the special quilt the grandchildren sleep under when they stay over night. I put a regular quilt on when the adult guests visit.

The wall quilt is called Medallion, it's an older pattern from Edyta Sitar. The label says it was finished in 2011, again before I was blogging. I think I changed the block size but I don't remember for sure.

The dark blue wall is perfect to show off my Dear Jane quilt. After she was finished, I always wished I had made the outside border blue instead of white. I didn't make the traditional scalloped border because I didn't like it, I'd rather have a border of feathers.

I ordered a set of 3 Quilt keepers, I first saw them on Karen's blog. Scroll down the right side, there's a link there for you to order through. The quilt I'm displaying is the Vintage Boston Commons quilt that I hand quilted in 2020.

(Showing you the quilt keeper picture made extra space in the post. Since I have never figured out how to move pictures close to each other, I'll just leave space between the typing.)

Now we're going to move to the guest bathroom. The green color of this bathroom is the color the master bedroom/closet/master bathroom and hallway were all painted. I know it doesn't look green here but trust me, it's a weird green color. I didn't have this bathroom painted, I don't use it! 

On the door is another quilt keeper displaying the OMIGOSH! quilt I made in 2020. This is on the outside of the door so when the door is shut, the quilt hangs in the hallway.

Behind the door into the bathroom is the bathtub. The sink is on the right hand side. Again there is plenty of storage space in this room.

Look in the mirror and you'll see a sneak preview!

When you walk to the back of the room, there is an alcove where the toilet stool and a urinal (!? Debbie had it installed, not me!) are. Hanging on the wall above them is my Infinity bargello quilt. Click on the link, the colors are more vivid than this picture shows.

I thought the red/orange colors would brighten up the drab walls of this green room. 

I also painted the walls in my office. The Farmer does occasionally use it but mainly he comes in here and has me look up information for him.

The office is a work in progress. I had an old ugly metal cabinet that I used at the farmhouse but it's not coming in the house, it's residing in the shop on the north side of the garage. I need to get another chest of drawers to hold papers.

I have a lovely view of the north porch and of the trees on the north side of the house.

On the east wall is the wall quilt I made using Grandma Sylvia's embroidered blocks. The blue border looks nice against the white wall.

Click the link and you'll see a better close up photo.

The blue south wall highlights the Contrary Wife wall quilt I appliqued the winter of 2013 - 2014 through the Prairie Women Sewing Circle Journey 3 class. I participated in the class at Caroline's Cotton Corner. The post highlights all the projects I made in that class.

I have my chair in the corner, this is where I do my evening handwork. 

The Farmer enjoys watching sports or farming shows in the evening, I don't. I relax and slow stitch while watching the programs I want to watch without have to listen to armchair coaching from the Farmer, the referee critique or cries of anguish!

This post has gotten long enough so I'm going to close with one more picture. The quilt keeper hanging on the door to the office is displaying the Aunt's Bea's Parlor wallhanging I embroidered the winter of 2012-2013. I hand quilted her that summer. She finishes at 45" by 54", another project before my blogging days.

Linking to To Do Tuesday, Midweek Makers, Wednesday Wait Loss, Put Your Foot Down,  Needle & Thread Thursday 

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Darlene Zimmerman Embroidery

I had several hand projects I could have worked on while visiting Deanna in Utah but I decided to pull an older project that hasn't seen the light of day for several years, the Darlene Zimmerman embroidered blocks.

I completed one block while I was there . . .

and started a second block. 

Now it's in storage until I feel like embroidering again.

I'm glad that hydrangea block is finished, I didn't like that block as well as the others.

Here is a link to more information about these blocks.

Last week my posts were about the changes in our lives, selling the milking herd and moving off the farm. Someone mentioned they didn't remember seeing a picture of the farmhouse so here is the farmhouse to show you.

The farm buildings are on the top of a hill including the house. This was a good home to raise children, especially boys!

This picture was take while standing in the curve of the driveway. The maple trees are starting to put on their autumn color.

This picture is looking away from the house but these trees are so beautiful, I couldn't resist taking their picture.

The tree stump was a maple that was damaged in a storm several years ago. 

Linking to Kathys Slow Stitching Sunday, Stitching Stuff, Oh Scrap, Monday Making, Handmade Monday, Design Wall Monday, Craftastic Monday

Friday, October 14, 2022

Life Update, the Master Bedroom & More

Today I'm going to give you a tour of the master bedroom. The white and blue are NOT the original color, it was green! No way was I going to have a green bedroom or bathroom.

Most people don't have a china corner cupboard in their bedroom but there were no corners large enough in the great room for the cupboard to go into. I didn't want it in my office or the guest bedroom.

The quilt on our bed is Double Delight. 

I don't have any quilts hanging in the bedroom so far but I do have a quilt ladder. There is also a small quilt rack but I forgot to take a picture of that.

The people we bought the house from had a LOT of clothes in their closet. I put the Farmer's chest of drawers in ours. The walls of the closet are the original green of the bedroom and bathroom. I can handle green in the closet.

The other side of the closet is used for quilt storage and other things.

No quilts hanging in our bathroom either. We have his and her sinks. We also have a handicapped shower stall which was a feature that was very important to me, especially after watching my parents and the Farmer's parents age in homes that weren't elder friendly.

All the hallways in our house are wide enough for  easy wheelchair mobility.

The hallway that comes in from the garage has a utility sink along with the washer and dryer on one side. The other side is all cupboards with lots of storage space.

The Farmer thought we would install our old washer, No Way! Several years ago I had to get a new washer and all that was available were the high efficiency washers. I hate that washer, it's fine if your clothes don't get dirty but on a farm, you have dirty clothes. I had asked the sales clerk if they didn't have a washer with an agitator and was informed that that type of washer was now obsolete.

Look inside this washer! I guess I wasn't the only person who doesn't like high efficiency washers.

The washer has nothing to do with quilts but I am so pleased with this washer. In case you are wondering, I keep that knob in the bleach dispenser when I'm not using the washer. This way the inside drys after use and doesn't get musty. It's not open very far, you don't even notice it.

Some of you had questions in comments in the last post so here are some answers.

No, we're not selling the farm. The Farmer is still farming, just not the whole farm. We've been cash renting part of the land for several years to neighboring dairy farmers.

The Farmer is enjoying his semi-retirement, he's sleeping in until 6 am, not 4:45 am like he did for most of those 50 years of milking.

He's milking 2 cows now but one of the cows will be traveling to Louisiana after she is exhibited in the Guernsey show at the NAILE  in November. The other cow will be dried off (she won't give milk anymore) and overwintered until spring along with other young stock on the farm.

There is more house to see, I'll show you the guest bedroom and my office next Tuesday.

Linking to Put Your Foot Down, Needle & Thread Thursday, Whoop Whoop Party, Peacock Party, TGIFF!, Finished Or Not Friday, Off the Wall Friday, Patchwork & Quilts

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Life Update

In an earlier post I had mentioned there were some life changes on the farm and that I would be posting about those changes. Here is the first of several posts and there are two sections to this post.

Section 1 - The farmer graduated from high school in the spring of 1971. The full responsibility of milking twice a day became his job. In the winter of 2020-21, he told me he was thinking of selling the milking cows, 50 years was long enough. I didn't believe him, he loves these cows!

We have never been a commercial herd that only produces milk, our herd is a breeding herd. The genetics in our herd produce milk but also the favorable type and style that promoted longevity and health. It's hard to explain unless you're a cattle breeder. 

In June of 2021 a dairywoman from Pennsylvania came and talked the farmer into selling one of the top show cows. Once people found that out, we were inundated by offers for the cattle. The last milking cow left the farm in February 2022. The cattle are now residing from Pennsylvania west to Missouri and from Wisconsin south to Louisiana.

Most of the cattle that left the farm were the milking cows but a lot of the young females were sold too. Soon after the last the milking herd left, one of those young females that stayed here on the farm, calved and he's milking 2 cows again! He just can't entirely quit.

Section 2 of this post -

To make a long story short, last April we looked at a new house (just 2 miles from the farm) being sold by the owner before she put it on the market.

We went . . . we looked . . . we loved it and we BOUGHT IT! The closing was June 15 and I have been slowly moving stuff over to the new house. We made the big move on September 24 and we've been sleeping here ever since.

This picture is taken from the southwest side. It was a bright sunny day so the gray siding looks a little faded. 

We're close enough to the farm for the farmer to go milk his 2 cows, I guess you would say he commutes to work. Not all the stuff is moved out of the farmhouse. That's the only house we ever lived in and that was for 46 years! 

Let me show you around inside the house.

I'm standing in the doorway. Our main living area is a great room and it's a great place to display quilts. Those rafters were milled from trees harvested from this acreage.

On the left side you can see Nearly Insane. Behind Nearly Insane is the Pastor's Attic quilt. On the right side is 9 Patches & Hourglass.

Looking toward the left side of the living room is Floral Triangles (Sweet Surrender).

On the right side of the living room is Tree Farm by Edyta Sitar. I wasn't blogging when I made Tree Farm.

This is my kitchen. I love all the space! The kitchen in the farmhouse was good sized but there wasn't much countertop space. I certainly have it now!

The quilt hanging in the dining area is my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt.

I would have like to had the quilts hang higher where the ceiling starts but I couldn't because of those vents. The rods had to be secured into the studs. I didn't want my quilts falling off the walls during the night.

The fireplace is natural gas and it keeps our home warm now by itself. We haven't started the regular furnace yet. 

I'll show you more of the house in the next post. This was enough for today.