Friday, October 16, 2015

It's fall!

The leaves are changing, but the wind is taking them before we can enjoy them very long.
And the cold is coming.  My Mother's Day flower baskets are still hanging on the porch and are full of flowers but that may all change after tonight's freeze warning.

I was late getting a garden in this spring but blessed with enough vegetables that we will eat well this winter.  Beans, corn, and potatoes have been stored away until we need them. I grew celery for the first time this year.  It was amazing!  It was nothing like the pale stuff that comes from the store.  It was dark green and had so much flavor.  I'll definitely grow it again next year.
 The standing corn is almost dry enough to cut for bird and squirrel food.

 I was able to get out by the campfire while my family was at work and school to do a bit of hand piecing.  The temperatures are too cold for that now!  I'm glad I set time aside from chores to enjoy something special just for me.
My new dog Missy.
She's five months old now and never leaves my side. Now if I could just get her to lay next to me instead of wanting to be in my lap when I try to hand quilt.

I stumbled upon a sweet little white Singer featherweight sewing machine from the 60's and couldn't resist. A couple weeks later I found this repurposed Singer treadle base.  I had been sewing on an old piece of furniture and I kept bumping my knees.  The new table is a perfect fit.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

garden 2015

These photos are now two weeks old and we've had so much rain and warm weather that the
plants have nearly doubled in size.  I was so late getting my garden in this year but I think it might give us a bit of food yet.  If not, we have a great little farmer's market in town and I love stopping each week for vegetables that I don't grow in my garden.
We had a bad thunderstorm with heavy wind and rain on Sunday night.  When I went up to the garden to check for damage I found my corn, pepper and bean plants laid out flat.  I think I'll be able to recover them but a few cool dry days would certainly help.


I'm heading out to finish putting in the supports for the pole beans.  I struggle each year trying to keep them from becoming a tangled mess. I'm thinking shorter rows this year might make a difference.  We'll see...

Thursday, July 9, 2015

quiet summer days...

I've been spending lots of time riding my new bike...
 and finishing hand quilting this grandmother's flower garden quilt for a customer...
summer school ends for my daughter tomorrow and I can't wait for the lazy dog days of summer to begin!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Slow Stitching Sunday

I am quietly stitching away on my Dear Jane blocks today and I thought I would link up with other Slow Stitchers at Kathy's blog. The sun was shining yesterday when I took this photo.  But today?  Not so much!  Blustery and raw would best describe it.  Lots of gusty wind, rain, and some frozen bits of hail? Sleet? Frozen rain?  Whatever it's called, it's just a nicer day indoors today.
I've sat this weekend thinking about the life Jane Stickle lived in Vermont in the 1800's.  And that led me to wonder what my own great-great-great-great grandmother Sarah Fisher's life would have been like during those same years.  Sarah Fisher was born in 1814 and lived in Bedford Township, Fulton County, Pennsylvania.  Sarah was born just three years before Jane Stickle and lived within 60 miles west of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  This is the only copy of a black and white photo that I have of Sarah Fisher. I could spend days thinking up questions to ask her if I had the chance to meet her. Of course the first one is a no brainer....

Sarah...are you a quilter?

Friday, March 27, 2015

it started with a plan...

I made a list for the things I'd shop for while at the Chicago quilt show yesterday.  The list went something like this...needle, thimble, notions, thread. 
This little wall hanging and French linen is none of those things! But this was from a vendor from France and I knew I might not find it again.  I learned an important lesson about not using a credit card while at shows with vendors from many states and international companies.  My husband received a fraud alert from our bank while in a business meeting.  It was triggered by me after I shopped at this vendor and then went to a vendor from Indiana.  A quick phone call to the bank straightened things out, but next time I'll take cash!

And here's what I couldn't resist from the Indiana vendor.  She and her husband were selling hand dyed indigo and cheddar fabric.  This little Jo Morton quilt has been waiting in my head for just the right cheddar and blue fabrics.  And so they came home with me too. 

And I can't walk by Lori Smith's both without becoming weak in the knees! In addition to her beautiful patterns she now sells sewing kits with the same fabrics that she used in her original quilt.  A no brainer...wash, cut, stitch.  I enjoy choosing my own fabrics but also appreciate someone else occasionally doing it for me. 
And my new "Steady Betty" pressing board.  I found a small pressing surface from a vendor at the show from Holland, Michigan for my Dear Jane blocks.  Here's block A-4 and in the lower left corner is a dime covering one of the pieces to show how little those corner stones are.

I did in fact buy needles, notions, a blue thimble and thread.   I'll make a list before I go to the show next year and see if I can do any better sticking to it.
Have a great weekend! 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

sewing needle book

only a few more stitches and then I can get this little needle book out in the mail...

Do you use needle books?  I have a growing collection of needle books that have been gifted to me but I haven't made a house for myself...yet.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

life is good...

I don't often take pictures when in Amish country and I was careful to wait until a small family exited their buggy before taking this photo of the barn quilts on the side of Yoder's Department Store.
I forgot my phone when I went into the shop and will someday remember to go back and take a photo of the solid fabrics that they stock.   
These were definitely NOT the original colors I had thought about working with but it was a happy surprise when they came together.  Ask for Nancy if you ever need help pulling colors.  And go early it gets crowded later in the day. My boys are heading up north to camp this weekend and the timing couldn't be better.  This one isn't going to be stash fabric for long.

So few quilt shops carry stencils and I love finding new ones.  Yoder's has racks and racks of them! These are the ones that came home with me this weekend.  I've got to find a way to work a little bird or two into my quilting somewhere.

I walked away from purchasing a black featherweight when I was in Shipshewana last December.  It was surprising that she was still sitting on the shelf  when I came back last weekend.  She's been used and loved and her decals have been worn away in spots.  Her light cover has been replaced and it is missing the Singer decal....but sews like a dream.  Her serial number begins with AF so I know she's going on 75 years. 
 I can only hope that I run as smoothly when I'm that age.
There was a receipt in the case for a tune up done on the machine in 1987.  The owner was living in Indianapolis at the time.  I'd love to know if she was the original owner or the number of times the machine has passed hands.  Oh! the things we will sew. 


Friday, March 6, 2015

the five P's

Proper Planning Prevents Poor Piecing!!
I leave for my Michigan retreat next week and I've been busy planning what projects to take with me.  I like to spend time cutting and prepping my blocks the week before I leave so I can sew, sew, sew at retreat.  That works well as long as remember to take all the pieces I've cut!  This time I'm packing the blocks before hand.  I've ironed, matched the colors, and cheated by sewing a handful of triangles.  I found these little paper bags on Amazon and thought they be a prefect and lightweight way to organize my blocks.  They are just thin enough to see what's inside each bag.
I never know how much sewing I'll get done while I'm away.  Oh my goodness! Some of the quilter's bring tote after tote after tote just crammed with fabric and not an idea of what they want to work on.  I am not a fly by the seat of my pants kind of quilter.  I've developed a strategy to keep my busy and from getting bored. Well, it's worked so far...fingers crossed!
So my plan is to take a big project to piece...the basket quilt that will be donated to the retreat center when I finish it. 

  Hand quilting...the top was a sew along on Lori's Humble Quilt blog.  If I can find more cheddar I will make a bed size quilt some day! 

Hand piecing...I have no idea why this picture is sideways?   I think I'll take this to work on.  It's been to a season of baseball, softball, soccer, and hockey and I'd really rather be using it on a table instead of lugging it to sporting events.  Lots of little pieces to sew short seams and they are great to work on while gabbing.  It's the long row piecing and seam matching that give me the willies!
That  just leaves me to decide which applique and embroidery piece I'll take with me.
I have no silly notion that I will finish everything but I'll at least have a good idea where to start.
have a wonderful weekend! 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

egg money


Hand poured beeswax hearts for quilting and hand piecing.
My mom always had beeswax in her sewing basket and I just assumed that it was something that every mom and grandma had in her sewing basket next to that little silver
and black ruler with the red sliding gizmo.  I think I might even have five or six of those!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tamiflu Day 4..

I leave for my retreat in Michigan in two weeks and I better not be feeling crummy. The Tamiflu I'm taking was not cheap and I'm pretty sure...
as crappy as I'm feeling... I've been ripped off by the drug company! 
 Or maybe I got a bad batch because my husband's taking Tamiflu and he hasn't sneezed once! 
I've been playing with these blocks and trying to make scrappy not look so planned. It's proving to be more difficult than I thought it would be!  I may have to eliminate some of my backgrounds in order to simplify things. The blocks finish at five inches and I'm able to use lots of scraps for the little triangles.
Yesterday between bouts of coughing and sneezing I was able to make them begin to look like a quilt.  And then after sewing the rows together...I saw that I had two reds next two each other in the top row.  Maybe that Tamiflu caused temporary color blindness...because I swear on my thimble I had everything staged correctly so I had no repeats.  Or maybe my house has gremlins?
This is the first of the three quilts that I am busy planning for the retreat center.  They have a need for new bedding in some of the rooms and I've offered to adopt a room and furnish a full size and two twin size quilts.  I'm still trying to decide what to make for the twin size beds.  It may be baskets but I'm also thinking about something without all those little triangles.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

early morning quilting

early morning quilting
I'm glad that the quilt in my frame has pretty spring colors.  It's the only thing around here that makes me think that spring is really on it's way.   I'm trying to fill my days with quilting, quilt shows and quilt retreats.  I really just want to hibernate and wake up on Mother's Day! 
 Any one else dislike these last days of winter? 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

turning the page to February

Ye Olde Schoolhouse Quilt quilt shop in Wisconsin!  I wish it looked like this yesterday when I was there but it was covered in snow. ICK!  I'm so over winter...enough said!
These are the 31 little sweeties that got me through January.
My only regret is that I was too busy with other things that I
didn't get around to stitching them to the larger section...ugh
My plans are to keep stitching one a day in February but this time I will spend the weekend stitching them to the larger pieces.  It's a plan at least.  That must count for something, yes? 
This is the back side of a flower.  Pieced by hand not EPP. I wish I knew how to EPP but I don't have the patience to baste around all those papers. 
Hurry up Spring!!!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

My One-A-Day for January

Up early to do a bit of stitching before the day gets too busy.  This is the hand piecing I took along on camping trips last summer.  I haven't been bit by the EPP bug yet so I am sewing these piece by piece.  I have it in my mind to do a window covering for my daughter's room but I may not have enough of the fabric she wanted me to use.  It'll be a slow project if I only work on them during camping trips so I'll be stitching one a day to help it along.

Friday, January 9, 2015

practice is progress

I've never been confident in my applique skills and I've come to the conclusion that I'll never get better if I don't give it an honest effort.  While stitching this SunBonnet Sue by Reiko Kato I added a step to the back basting method and it made the world of difference for me.