Thursday, January 22, 2015

Winter Pastime

You all know how much I love to work jigsaw puzzles.  It's just a natural thing for me to do after the stress of December, the dreary sunless days, and long nights between supper and bedtime.  The Farmer gave me two puzzles this year for Christmas gifts.

I worked the most difficult one first, 1000 pieces, QUILT MONTAGE.  I don't have time from farm chores, etc. to sit and work full time, so it took me about a week and a half to finish this one.  When I started it I wasn't sure it was workable, but by taking it one section at a time it was.

The second one, 500 pieces, FARM LIFE, was much easier to work because the pieces were larger, and well, not as "busy" as the first one. And, by the way, a window screen is a perfect thing to put the pieces together on; it holds everything in place and keeps pieces from falling onto the floor.

So now my desire to work a puzzle for the winter has been satisfied and I'll take up the crochet hook, needle and embroidery thread and make something to show for my time.

Mary, at, posted a fantastic poem about puzzles today; check it out!


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Flying Geese Quilt Top

I believe this year is following in the footsteps of last year, for here it is the middle of January already!  How can we slow it down?  And how we wish for some days with sunshine after a month of dreary, damp weather.  Do we never stop complaining about the weather?

I feel like I've made good use of my time so far; remember the flying geese blocks I was piecing, hoping to use up some scraps?  The top is finished ~

and as soon as I feel like working with a big lining fabric I'll put it on the frames to quilt, after I've checked to make sure all the papers are removed; sure don't want any surprises when I'm quilting! It turned out to be a BIG top.  During really cold days my sewing room is too cool to work in comfortably, so I have other projects to work on (another post :)  Remember those triangles left over from these blocks that I just couldn't throw away?  Here they are, paired up with white triangles, trimmed to size and boxed up, waiting for another time.

Waste not, want not~

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


and a Happy New Year to my blogging friends!  Thank you so much for the kind words you have left in your comments.  The past three years I have chosen projects to make each month: doll quilts, aprons, and hope chest additions.  This year I don't plan to work on specific projects since it puts a lot of pressure on me to finish each month and sometimes it's almost impossible to meet a dead line. 

The final hope chest addition is a Christmas apron made like a vintage apron I have had for a long time.  The pattern was cut from brown paper, wrinkled and smudged.  I made a few changes to the shape of the skirt; rather than having points this one is straight across the bottom and I left off the holly leaves.

After tracing the drawing for the face with a hot transfer pencil, I ironed it onto white fabric, embroidered the features, then appliqued it with a blanket stitch to the skirt of the apron.  I made my apron from green fabric, thinking the read hat would be more visible.

This is the vintage apron.  Overall, I wasn't too pleased with my green apron.  First, the face seems too large for the skirt.  Second, I wish I had used a pattern for a full apron with no gathered skirt.  But, it does have a little holiday cheer to it; they can't all be winners!  (No pockets in this one either, Ernestine :)

Now I will focus on putting the flying geese units together and put them on the quilting frames for a winter's work ~ after Christmas.


Monday, December 15, 2014

My effort to empty a few boxes of scraps continues.  The piecing on this project

came to a halt whenever all the black fabric had been used.   I have 190 blocks pieced and will need several more.  So I ordered more black fabric and while waiting for it, I drafted a pattern for a 6" x 9" Flying Geese unit, printed the pattern onto paper, pulled out the scraps again, and began paper piecing these:

I try to piece five units each day; there are 75 finished ones.  One usually thinks there is a lot of waste when paper piecing because she cuts the pieces a little over sized, but not this time:

As I trim a unit I flick the trimmings off onto the floor rather than take the time to hit the waste basket; I have a broom and dust pan in the sewing room and sweep up the mess as I finish for the day.  This is the layout for the finished blocks, minus a connecting strip between rows:

Did this make a dent in the scraps?  Hardly!  And look what's left when the units are trimmed; a large stack of pretty triangles!

 Sew these to white triangles, trim to 2 1/2 inch squares, and you have the makings for another quilt!

Why not throw them away, you ask?  All I can say is, when you're raised by parents who lived through the depression and made-do with what they had, and every penny was pinched until it screamed, that frugal characteristic lives on.


Monday, December 8, 2014

With all that's going on in the news these days, I thought this was just the thing to start your day with a chuckle: 

This was taken from The BACK FORTY Calendar, 2015, by Lex Graham, and distributed by a local propane company.

Have a good day!

Friday, November 28, 2014

November Hope Chest Addition ~ finally

A ripple afghan goes into the hope chest in November.  I think the ripple is the easiest of all patterns.  It would make an excellent choice for a beginner; if one can count to two, three, and eleven she has it made.

This afghan has a story with it: I bought this as a kit and gave it to my daughter.  She was too busy to commit to crocheting it, so I bought it back from her so she could get something else in its place.  So, as confusing as this sounds, I actually bought it twice!

Fannie seems to be enjoying the warmth of the afghan.  In these pictures it is folded into quarters, and although it isn't a big afghan, it makes a good cover for the toes when thrown over the foot of the bed at night.

Next year I don't think I will commit to making a project each month.  I'm getting so much slower with my farm work and that takes away from my sewing, etc.  Also, it seems the Farmer needs help with so many things.  Sometimes I may go to the sewing machine, stitch three or four inches, and I hear him coming down the hallway.  When he gets to my door with a solemn face, I ask, "What do you want?" and he may say, "There's a cow getting ready to have a calf; I think we need to get her up."  I unplug the machine and iron, turn off the lamp and leave things until another spare time.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Using a New Quilt

Yesterday morning the temperature was 15* ~ brr-rr!  Time to put the best flannel sheets on the bed for sure.  I'd been putting a throw and an afghan over my light weight quilt at night and then each morning they had to be folded and put away.  I needed another quilt.  My new quilts had just been in the cupboard for years; why not use one of them?  After all, shouldn't I enjoy the work of my hands instead of keeping them for someone else?  But there's this old saying, when you sleep under a new quilt, what you dream will come true.  Oh boy!  I've been having some disturbing dreams, not dreams that frighten me, just ones that leave a feeling of uncertainty or dread.  A lot of them include my late mother and daddy; usually I'm visiting them in a health center or something where I have to go through all these crowded, dirty little rooms before I find them.  I hate that!  But I decided to take a chance, and this is the quilt I put on my bed:

It is actually made of two different blocks: some kind of star block, and the court house steps block, and quilted in a clam shell design.  Most of the fabrics are homespun plaids.  I've always pictured this quilt in a log cabin.

Well, today I'm happy to say, I slept warm and cozy and had nary a bad dream!  So I guess I'm in the clear!