Sunday, July 29, 2012

Fifth Sunday in July

"Love must be sincere.
Hate what is evil;
Cling to what is good.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.
Honor one another above yourselves."
Romans 12:9,10

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Really Random Thursday: A Really Hot Week!

I'm linking up with Cindy at Live a Colorful Life to bring you all a really random post of some really random stuff totally unrelated to the subject of quilting, which is what this blog is supposed to be about. I always look forward to Cindy's Thursday that she's started a linky party, there will be even more fun to enjoy! Here's my random week...
Ugly twin bed purchased at a used furniture store....(have you ever wondered why this size bed is called a "twin"? I bought two, but sometimes people only have one. I guess then it's called a "single". )'s the twin before...
And the twin after.....  I love white paint!
After many weeks of anticipation and waiting and wondering and phone calling,
 a package was finally delivered to my door....
Inside: Tutto rolling sewing machine suitcases, one for Linda and one for me. They were ordered from a booth during the Quilt Market in Kansas City last  May...
I was expecting them both to be turquoise, but I guess my wires got crossed somewhere along the line and I apparently had ordered orange for me.
 Oh well, it will be easy to spot.
It's been really hot. Did you hear? 
If it weren't for the info on the side of this container...
I'd be switching from iced tea to this....
It's so dry out that my grass reminds me of chow mein noodles...
looks the same and makes the same crunching sound when stepped on!
To stay cool, my grand daughters (whose birthdays are a few weeks apart)
enjoyed an indoor luau birthday party over the weekend.
Their daddy forgot to tell the rest of us to wear authentic attire...
 The cake and decorations were all bright and cheery 
with lots of pink flamingos ...
 A good time was had by all.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fourth Sunday in July

" Show me your ways, O Lord,
teach me your paths; 
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long."
Psalm 25:4

Friday, July 20, 2012

Farmer's Wife Friday--The Setting

In case you have been on Mars and didn't hear: The Baseball All Star Game was played here in Kansas City a few weeks ago and it was all the buzz. Me? I stayed home and played my own game with the Farmer's Wife blocks....
...just as any good country girl would do that doesn't have the bucks to take in the big game. I could buy a bunch of fabric for what a ticket costs! My game included dividing my blocks into two piles: one to set on point and the other, set square...
Cindy and I are both going to deviate from the original on point setting of the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt as shown it the book. Waaayyyy back here, I fell in love with Susan's cheerful rendition of the FW Quilt and decided to shamelessly copy her setting. Turns out she copied from Michelle at City House Studio and first spied our favorite setting here. Suz calls her quilt, Sunnybrooke Farm. Isn't it so pretty! I just love it and am hoping that my quilt turns out to look something like it.
The sashing is easy...add 2.5 inch strips to the sides of each block to be set square. For the blocks set on point, cut two 5 inch squares on the diagonal and then attach the 4 triangles to the four sides. All blocks are then trimmed to 9 inches. 
 I'll set my blocks into 11 rows of 10 blocks. Since I've made 111 blocks, I'll have one extra to use as a label on the quilt back. (That light pink churn dash in the first picture.)  I'm getting excited to see this quilt come together! Be sure to stop over at Cindy's blog to see how she will be using her blocks. Check back in a few weeks to see more of my blocks sashed in Kona white. I'm determined to have this as a "finish" in 2012!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Good Friend Quilt

For weeks now, Vicki and I have been planning to make a quilt together. She chose this pattern, called Good Fortune by Kate Spain, and I immediately said "yes"! Isn't it awesome.
 Having lots of Flea Market Fancy on hand, I cut some 2.5 inch strips and made my own "jelly roll" paired with Kona PFD white purchased with a 50% off coupon at JoAnn's. (love those)
 It took us pretty much all day to get the strips cut into the sizes needed, with a break here and there for chatting and a quick lunch of yogurt, fresh blackberries and homemade granola parfaits. (Yummy!) 
 Vicki had a lovely jelly roll of Sunkissed by Sweetwater to work with. Since she was short one strip, I gave her one cut from Flea Market Fancy to fill in. (Do you spot it?) Instead of "Good Fortune" I think we should call our quilts "Good Friend"! In my world, there's not much better than spending the day sewing with a good friend.
 The directions call for using 36 jelly roll strips. This is what I had left after cutting...
 Vicki had a bunch, as well. We probably have enough for another small quilt each!
 After Vicki left for home, another good friend stopped by for a drink. (Notice my lovely "green grass"....that's what happens when there's a drought and the temps are 100+ for days on end.)
The stream that runs through our property has been dried up for weeks. I'd guess that my little garden pond is the only available water nearby right my barred owl friend  (and two others) has been hanging around quite a bit!
 I love it when good friends stop by, don't you! 
P.S. Please don't judge my crop of string algae on the water's the ONLY thing that seems to thrive in this heat!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Third Sunday in July

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall trouble or hardship or persecution
or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
...No, in all these things we are more than conquerors 
through Him who loved us."
Romans 8: 35, 37

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Granny Squares

When Piece 'o Cake came out with  Treasures & Tidbits, I fell pretty hard. So as any normal, red-blooded quilter would do, I ordered a layer cake of 10 inch squares, admired them and then added them to the stash. Sound familiar?
 Then, a few days ago, I ran across a new Great Granny Square Quilt Along that is starting up. Bingo! Granny Square blocks + the red/white/blue (throw in the yellow and aqua ones, too) squares from the collection and I've got the beginnings of the patriotic quilt I've been wanting to make.
 The Granny Square blocks have been everywhere lately and I love them so. I even made a little 6 inch one for the Farmer's Wife QAL, but it was called Checkerboard and the colors are arranged differently...same block though. (But not made the easy peasy way that the Great Granny blocks are!)
 I can tell that these blocks are going to be addicting to make! Here's my first one. I love it already. These "Great Granny Blocks" are a bit different in that they have one more ring of color....As Lori Holt describes it: There's the Baby in the center (mine is yellow), then the Mamma (mine is navy) then the Granny (the usual Granny square stops here) and finally the last ring is the Great Granny. The blocks are 12 inches finished. I'm planning to make 16 blocks all together. 
  I pulled out my new (to me) iron to try it out on my granny blocks...still has the price tag on it: SEE! I ran across this oldie but goodie at an estate sale last week and was so excited. I scooped it up, held it close and plugged it in. The cord is in perfect shape and, sure enough, it fired right up! (I didn't hold it close after that, in case you wondered!) Irons and I seem to have problems...I drop them; they spit water; they stop steaming, stop getting hot, etc, etc.  I quit using steam awhile back for quilting so this iron will be perfect: i.e., nice and heavy and HOT! I think we will be friends.
If you haven't jumped on the Granny Square Band Wagon yet, what are you waiting for? Now's the perfect time! There's even a flickr site for inspiration. 
You know you want to!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Second Sunday in July

"What a wildly wonderful world, God!
You made it all,
with Wisdom at your side,
made earth overflow with your wonderful creations."
Psalm 104:24 The Message

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Teaching Girls to Sew

My grandmother sewed things for me on her treadle sewing machine when I was a child. As I grew a little older, sewing my own clothes became a way of life. I can still specifically  recall a few of the dresses that I made when I was in sixth grade. (One in particular sported, the then popular, Elizabeth Taylor ruffles.) I'm positive that the seams were uneven and the construction far from perfect, but I proudly wore my creations to school. This weekend, my grand daughters, Haven and Maelie, hopefully began a life long love of sewing.
 Maelie is only three so she mainly just sat on my lap, put her hands on the fabric and pulled pins when I asked her to. But, Haven, at six, got to man the gas pedal and put her hands on the fabric! (Her boy cousins have gotten to sew with me lately as well, and believe me, they like to drive sew a whole lot faster than Haven!) 
 I let Haven and Maelie each pick their favorite fabric from my stash of Flea Market Fancy to create little skirts using this free instructions from Oliver + S. There is only one seam in the skirt, elastic in the waist and a ribbon hem. We just used what I had on hand. (Oliver+S is also offering 25% off on all patterns through Saturday!)
 After a little shopping to pick out new tops to go with the skirts, the girls and I were ready to go out for lunch in their first "made by me" finery. They were super proud!!
Try it! You'll like it!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Farmer's Wife Friday--A Garden Paradise

Almost exactly one year ago, (June 24, 2011) Cindy and I began creating the 6 inch blocks that accompany each of the 56 letters published in Laurie Hird's book, The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt. If you recall, Cindy begged me to do this with her....and I'm so glad that I said yes for lots of reasons, not the least of which: the bond of friendship it has created between us.
Today marks the last letter and very last of the 111 blocks! (I celebrated with a bowl of ice cream topped with fresh all time fav dessert!)  I was thinking today of all that has gone one in my life over the last year and wishing that I had kept a journal in the book as I went along. But, I didn't.  Oh, well. 
The final block is called "Star of Hope".  It's one of those blocks that would be interesting to see put side by side...just one doesn't look much like a star (maybe just the 'hope' of a star!) 
The last farm wife author, from Polk County, Wisconsin, wants her daughter to marry a farmer "because she is a farm girl" and because of "the peace and tranquility that comes as a reward and a benediction to those who follow God's plan to make a paradise in a garden".
I wondered if my own farmer's wife mother wished that her four daughters had married farmers. None of us did. I honestly don't think that it bothered her at all. Her life was hard.
It's been over 100 degrees here in Missouri, with no rain for weeks. Marble and I found a shady spot under a tree to photograph all of my colorful blocks. Marble was less than cooperative. Must have been the heat... Ya. Right.
It was a lot of fun to sort through all of my blocks, remembering the ones that I love as well as the ones that I wonder why anyone would ever think was enjoyable to make. It would be hard for me to choose my number one favorite, but the one with the sunlight beaming on it like a spotlight would probably be a top contender!
I'm certain that Cindy's last block is a stunner as always in her solid pallet. We will post our progress as we add sashings to each little block and put them all together into a quilt over the next few months. For me, I have my name on a list with a machine quilter for September, so have a deadline to get these pretties made into a quilt top. 
As you know, I work best when under a deadline! Thank you for all of your encouragement over the last year. It has honestly kept me going many times. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Ice Cream Dress

Oliver + s fashions are favorite 'go to' patterns for classic and well designed children's clothing. Even though a little pricey, each package contains a multitude of sizes making the pattern usable for years to come. Last week, I finished up the size 4 Ice Cream Dress for Lula using pink Flea Market Fancy fabrics.
Lula loves everything pink and these fabrics are no exception.
I may be biased, but with her tall, slender frame, I'm thinking that she's got the moves to be a runway model for sure! Just take a look...
The length of the dress turned out to be just perfect for her. I would definitely suggest that you check to measurements before you cut out the fabric because the construction method creates a lined hem making it more difficult to shorten later. I needed to shorten Jane's dress, which I will be making in green.
The view I made has cute cuffed pockets with a "designer touch" little 'V' in the center. The next time I make pockets, I will probably line them making it easier to keep them rounded on the bottom.
The bodice yoke is cleverly designed to need only one button. This makes the neckline a bit large on a slender frame. Perhaps next time I will add a short placket and narrow the neckline a little. Lula wanted to look her best during our photo shoot and thought that a touch of lipstick might be called for...
I like that the skirt of this dress has just the right amount of gathering without creating too wide of a shape.
Everyone, including Lula's mommy, gave the Ice Cream Dress a thumbs up. We will be making more versions of this cute little shift I'm positive. 
I'm hoping to get the green, size 18 months version made this week. 
Jane needs a new dress too!