Friday, August 31, 2012

Farmer's Wife Friday--A Light at the End of the Tunnel

There's  light at the end of the tunnel in my marathon Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt project.

I wonder how many miles of white thread there are in these blocks? I've been using it to sew a bunch of seams, that's for sure!
There are 110 blocks in my top. Number 111 will be added to the back as a label. Each block was first sashed either with two inch strips and trimmed to nine inches...
 Or, with a triangles in each corner so that it sits on point.
Once that was accomplished, I laid them all out, numbered the rows... 
 ...and began sewing them all together. By placing the on-point blocks on top I was always able to keep the corners from getting cut off with the stitching.
 An old mail basket came in handy for moving my rows back and forth from the floor to the sewing machine and helped me keep everything organized. (I like to use flannel backed vinyl tablecloths as my design surface.)
 The blocks are finally all sewn into rows. With a few more hours of sewing and a bunch more white thread, the top will be all ogether and ready to send off to be professionally quilted.
I'm still trying to decide on my backing, wanting to make sure that my choice doesn't show through the white and on to the front. I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Random Crazy Stuff

The calendar is still turned to August, but I keep finding more and more of these pretties in my yard. What a crazy summer it has been.
Speaking of crazy: inside, look who I found jailed in my bird cage!...
 Poor Tinkerbell. Her jailer looks pretty smug, don't you think?
 It's almost as crazy as seeing the Cat in the Hat riding on a motorcycle!
 Talk about crazy....Look what I picked up at an estate sale this week. The three blue pieces in the background all measure at a yard and a half each. The light pink one is about a yard and the others are fat quarters. Cost? Twelve dollars. For the whole shebang! Crazy fun!!
 And while we are on the subject of fabric...I was recently gifted this beautiful clutch created in India from fabric hand woven and hand stamped in a leper colony before being stitched  together one at a time providing a living for the artisan's families.
 My friend, Melody, started this young company called Joyn. You can read about it here. Look for some of their beautiful products at stores selling Dayspring and other brands.  
 I use my bag to hold a crochet hook and yarn for the dish cloths I like to work on when watching TV.  I love to think about the hands that made it.
 Speaking of what I like to work on...The Farmer's Wife blocks are all sashed and ready to be set together! Woo Hoo!!
Cindy's Really Random Thursday posts are always fun to read. Hop over and see what other random stuff is going on!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Farmer's Wife Friday--On Point Blocks

It's time to put all of my Farmer's Wife blocks together into a top. I'm getting excited to see this project completed and on my bed! The setting that I'll be using requires that half of my blocks be set on point. I cut a bunch of 5.5 inch white squares of Kona and then cut them all in half.
Chain piecing is your best friend for something like this.
 Working in sets of 14 or so, I was able to get all of them sashed in just a few sessions at the sewing machine.
 By adding the white corners to each block, I am was able to disguise any differences in size that certainly may or may not have showed up in my 6 inch blocks.
 Using my handy 9.5 inch Omnigrid square ruler, I lined up the points at 4.5 inch (the center of the 9 inch blocks I'm making) and then trimmed up two sides.
 Turning the block upside down, I then lined up the cut edges on the 9 inch marks and then trimmed the two remaining sides.
 Walla! A big stack of perfectly square 9 inch blocks and a bowl full of trimmings!
 Here are all 55 on point blocks spread out on my bed. It looks pretty good, I think....and will look even better when I add in the other batch of square set blocks.
 My first thought was, "Boy, this is going to be a pretty big quilt. I can't believe that I actually made all of these little blocks!"
 Tomorrow I will start adding 2 inch strips to the other 55 blocks.  That should go even faster!
I'd love to be able to show you a finished top next Friday. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Really Random Thursday- The Snack Edition

Sometimes when I sew, I need a little 'pick-me-up' to keep me going...a diet coke with just a 'touch' of vanilla always hits the spot. I like to get mine from Quick Trip...such a clean and efficient place...if you don't have one in your area, well, I'm sorry.  That's just sad.
 Anyway, back to the go with the coke, popcorn is always a good, low cal choice. This bag was recommended to me by two different people during a recent trip to Trader Joe's, so I caved and bought it. I ended up having to hide it from my two year old grand daughter, Jane, she liked it so much!
Speaking of Trader Joe's: this Three Layer Hummus is fantastic with my all time favorite pita chips, Stacy's Simply Naked. I have to hide them from myself, I like them so much! (By the way, this counts as lunch, too.)
 Oh, and have you seen these yet? Oh, my! Is it my imagination, or does that M&M guy look like he's eaten a few too many? (Maybe he's drunk on chocolate.....LOL!)
 Since we are on the subject of chocolate, get a load of this chocolate dessert that I got to indulge a few nights ago! (I looked like that M&M guy by the time I was finished.)
The cake was for a very special occasion...our tenth Bird Day Party (a play on words...get it?) for the Pink Flamingo Club, an empty nester club that I belong to...
 ....with these wonderful pink friends. We've been meeting together twice a month for 10 years now. Our eighth member passed away in June. We miss Kathy a lot.
I ran across these pretty little notebooks at Michael's last week, and thought that they sure looked familiar...
 ..then, when I turned them over, I knew why! (See that name in the middle, and the word "Terrain" in the upper left corner?) What do you know!
 They are only a buck each, so run, don't walk, to the nearest Michael's to get yours before the word gets out and they disappear. You can add letters, like I did, to personalize them, if you want.
 And while we are on the subject of gratitude...see these baseball tickets? My hubby and I decided at the last minute to go to the ball park last week and as we approached the ticket counter a stranger offered me two free tickets. I hesitated just a sec, thinking that they might be in the nose-bleed section. Boy was I wrong! We were blessed with maybe the best seats in the house: almost right behind home plate and only 10 rows up!
Now, I call that a Random Act of Kindness! I'm planning to pass along the kindness, not with Royals Baseball ticket, course....but....something! How about you? Do you do random acts of kindness? I know that Stephanie does, because we've been chatting about it.
I'm linking with Cindy and lots of others for Really Random Thursday. Join us?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Morning

"It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name,
O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning
 and your faithfulness at night,
to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
and the melody of the harp.
For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD;
I sing for joy at the works of your hands.
How great are your works,
how profound your thoughts."
Psalm 92:1-5

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Really Random Thursday--Colorado Vacation

I spent last week in beautiful Colorado....
 ....with all of these lovely people (plus a half dozen more). I'm related to them all (except for the sideways guy on the left..not sure how he got in there).  It was a family reunion...half of us from the Midwest and the other half from California...all meeting in the middle, so to speak.
There's even a lake and hiking trail named after us (maybe???)...
 We didn't hike it. Maybe we will someday when the twelve and under crowd grows up a little....hopefully, by then the 50 and older crowd will still be able to walk! Ha!! Instead, we drove to the top of the world and looked back at the road we'd just driven!
 We did do a couple of hikes...the kind where you can easily keep track of 20 people walking together, especially when eleven of them are children....
 ...who love to love to check out nature along the way...
....pick up any rocks they find here and there.....
 ....and who might even need to rest.
 It takes a lot of food to feed 25 people for a week, and we ate really, really the great outdoors and with very fun table mates...
 Every evening we worked on decorating our white tablecloth with fabric markers...
 ...and ended up with a one-of-a-kind family memento.
Did you know that you can have ice cream even in the mountains of Colorado, far from the nearest store? Yep. You will need one of these... a bunch of kids who like to roll a ball around a circle for  20 minutes  okay, 45 minutes....and you will get one pint of yummy ice cream....(Please note the quilt...Never leave home without one, that's my motto!) go with any birthday cake you may be serving to surprise some one's grandad who is having a BIG birthday!
To celebrate the Olympics with the rest of the world, we even held our own Timberlake Olympic games....
...culminating in an awards ceremony with bronze, silver and gold medals for the athletes and their teams. In case you are curious, the one in the hat was the overall gold medal winner!
Since fabric is never far from my mind no matter where I am, a trip to a certain Swedish store was on my itinerary....
....where I scored a couple of backing fabrics for a very good price. I was shocked to learn that I would cut and label my own purchase... Amazing!
 Running across this cute cottage in Grand Lake tickled my fancy. I'm just certain that a quilter lives here, aren't you...
 And, on the way home, I kept thinking about pinwheel quilts for some odd reason....hmm...maybe something in blue and white, with a little yellow for accent...

I'm linking up with Cindy today for Really Random Thursday. Hop on over to see more random stuff...some quilty; some not!